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An Experiment In ‘Unfinishing’ A Home

Architecture

Traditionally, we feature ‘finished’ homes and renovations, not works in progress. But the Bondi Junction House by Alexander & Co for the architecture firm’s director Jeremy Bull, marketing director Tess Glasson, and their four sons, is designed for continual evolution.

This home plays with the ideas of the ‘unfinished’. Through three stages of renovations, the home shows its workings – making the ‘solution’ all the more elegant. Check back in with us in a few years, to see how the residence continues to adapt!

15th July, 2019

The Bondi Junction House by Alexander & Co. Photo – Anson Smart.

Luxe Scandinavian inspired finishes in the sunken lounge room. Photo – Anson Smart.

A home is a lesson in architecture.  Photo – Anson Smart.

This home is constantly in permanent state of non-static completion. Photo – Anson Smart.

The architecture is inspired by Alvar Aalto and Louis Kahn. Photo – Anson Smart.

The renovations make use of all available space. Photo – Anson Smart.

Bathroom details. Photo – Anson Smart.

Well-framed views of a beloved backyard gum tree. Photo – Anson Smart.

Lucy Feagins
Monday 15th July 2019

When architect and director of Alexander & Co Jeremy Bull, and marketing director Tess Glasson purchased this home in Bondi Junction, the 1900s Victorian semi-detached dwelling was very dilapidated. The layout was poorly planned for a young family, so initial renovations re-structured the home, to ‘maximise space and exploit the site footprint wherever possible.’

Three stages of renovation are now complete, and one key idea behind this iterative design approach was for Jeremy and Tess to teach their children what architecture could be, by showing ‘its materiality and imperfections.’ The design itself is inspired by humanist architect Alvar Aalto and modernist master Louis Kahn. In maintaining a constate feeling of evolution, the expressive home is always in a state of change.

The second renovation involved building a loft space, that operates as a bedroom, rumpus and ‘football safe space’ for the kids to play. The third extension builds upon the changing needs of the family, to increase the kitchen area to include a new laundry, sunken lounge and dining area, and garage (used to house the ‘many skateboards, surfboards and bicycles of the now larger family’). The fireplace overlooks the sunken dining and conversation pit, framed with a leather banquette for cosy chats and lounging.

While the architects describe the home as in a ‘non-static state of completion’ – it feels very resolved to us! The interior palette reflects a contemporary Scandinavian vibe, of low cost pine structures, exposed pine ply sheeting, and Carrara tiles.  The architects describe the space as ‘quirky, infused with the unique spirit of the family.’ Stay tuned for the next iteration of this forever evolving home!

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net