This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

A Compact And Curvy Family Home In Glebe

Architecture

It took a builder, a structural engineer and a window contractor to ensure this house squeezed between neighbours and treetops in suburban Sydney, got enough light AND enough privacy! But it was worth it.

These unique windows are just one part (albeit a special one!) of this mind-bending new residential project from Chenchow Little Architects in Sydney.

18th February, 2020

‘The arched windows on the elevation align with arched cut-outs in the floor plate.’ Photo – Peter Bennetts

The custom designed and build windows by Windoor take pride of place inside and outside. Photo – Peter Bennetts

The base of the custom designed windows dips down onto the ground floor. Photo – Peter Bennetts

The gallery-like living and dining area. Photo – Peter Bennetts

Curves are everywhere. Photo – Peter Bennetts

The spiral staircase is the pièce de résistance. Photo – Peter Bennetts

Balcony walls separate the internal voids and brings columns of light into the second storey. Photo – Peter Bennetts

A simple light-filled bathroom. Photo – Peter Bennetts

Treetops envelope the second storey. Photo – Peter Bennetts

The master bedroom overlooks the city skyline. Photo – Peter Bennetts

‘The arched openings reference the arched openings and entrance portico of the neighbouring Victorian terrace house.’ Photo – Peter Bennetts

Sasha Gattermayr
Tuesday 18th February 2020

‘Our approach resulted in a serene sculptural space flooded with light.’ Tony Chenchow

Apart from the obvious logistical complications of completely demolishing and rebuilding a house in an inner-city Sydney suburb, there is the ever-evasive problem of light. Where to find it when the boundary line runs against a Victorian terrace on the south, and a 1980s apartment block on the north? How to maximise it once you do?

Tony Chenchow and Stephanie Little of Chenchow Little Architects took on answering those questions with vigour in this new residential project in Glebe. While ‘on a typical inner-city site, the centre of the house is often dark and introverted with a poor outlook’, the pair were determined to create ‘a serene, sculptural space flooded with light’ for a family of five.

The resulting compact two-storey dwelling pivots around void-like central spaces that open up the middle of the house to light-filled, bright caverns. ‘By incorporating voids and double height windows into the centre of the building, we were able to focus views away from the closely sited neighbouring dwellings into the surrounding treetops’, Tony explains. The custom built and designed windows align with arched cut-outs in the floor plate, so that light enters from openings all around the house, while the open staircase allows the ceiling to retain its height and connects the two storeys.

The most exciting thing about this house however (apart from the innovative way light has been squeezed in from every angle), is the glamorous use of curves. From the arch of the spiral staircase to the mid-century parabolas of the glazing, the voluptuous bend in every surface is alluring and almost romantic.

Despite demolishing the dilapidated cottage that existed on the block before it, Tony and Stephanie designed the Glebe residence around arched openings to mirror the architecture of the Victorian terraces typical of the suburb. This nod to the site’s context awards the new building an identity loaded with history and imagination.

This Week

Gardens

A Native Garden Made With Recycled Renovation Debris

This Sydney garden by Fig Landscapes maximises drought tolerant plant life, and inventive upcycling!
Sasha Gattermayr

The Good Room

A Stylist's Good Room In South Yarra's Most Coveted Apartment Building!

Heather Nette King shows us around 'THE room' in her apartment in Melbourne's Beverly Hills apartment complex.
Lisa Marie Corso

Architecture

A Multigenerational, Modern Farmhouse

Two houses are better than one, in this beach house for two families by Tom Robertson Architects.

Similar Stories

Architecture

An American-Style Barn Meets The Iconic Australian Shed, In Queensland

Paul Uhlmann Architects put an Australian spin on the American barn in Pullenvale, Queensland.

Interiors

A Light And Lofty Rural Masterpiece

‘The Barn’ in South Gippsland takes contemporary, regional accommodation to a new level!

Architecture

A Palm Springs-Inspired Oasis In Suburban Sydney

This renovated mid-century home in Vaucluse by Nick Bell Architects brings the WOW-factor!
Miriam McGarry

This Week

Homes

An Artist’s Spanish Mission Home In Newcastle

The recently-renovated home of artist Annie Everingham and family feels like a piece of California… in Newcastle!

Stays

A Serene Architectural Getaway Overlooking Vineyards In Central Victoria

Barfold Estate's new boutique accommodation is the best kept secret in the Heathcote / Kyneton region – for now!

Architecture

A Contemporary Barn-Style Home On A Working West Gippsland Farm

Green Hills Farm owners Neil and Kristy Plumridge share their barn-inspired West Gippsland home designed by Slap Architects.

Interiors

A Majestic Garden House That Transcends Aesthetics

The landscape is the mesmerising star of the show in Garden House by Arent&Pyke and Polly Harbison Design.
Amelia Barnes
  24 hours ago

Gardens

A Thoughtful Native Garden Anchoring A ‘Floating’ Home In The Byron Hinterland

Explore the diverse and lush landscaping of Coolamon House, perched on ancient volcano crater with uninterrupted views to the ocean.
Christina Karras

News

Local Chef Ella Mittas' First Cookbook Brings Us A Taste Of The Mediterranean

The Greek-Australian chef shares her most delicious recipes and personal essays in Ela! Ela! – To Turkey and Greece, Then Home.
Christina Karras

At Home With Sheridan

The Minimalist Inner-City Sanctuary Of Skincare Guru James Vivian + Ben Esakoff

A Prahran Edwardian cottage meets a minimalist architectural addition, with exposed materials, an impressive art collection, and textured Sh...

Art

Announcing The Winners Of The 2022 Telstra NATSIAA!

See the winners and finalists from the most prestigious award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, the 2022 Telstra NATSIAA!

News

Bid On Spectacular Contemporary Art From Australia's Best At The IMA's Benefit Auction!

Snap up works from award-winning artists thanks to the Institute of Modern Art Brisbane’s glamorous annual gala and online auction!
Christina Karras

On The Market

For Sale: An Ultimate Sydney Dream Home, With Waterfront Views

This new Balmain family home has it all - a resort-style backyard, swimming pool, gym, steam room, home theatre, and it's for sale!
Christina Karras

News

Nicole Lawrence Studio And Curio Practice Pop Up In Sydney

The two rising design stars open the doors to their week-long shop and showroom in Paddington.
Bea Taylor
  23 hours ago

Interiors

The Colourful, Creative Home Of Adelaide Designers, Daniel + Emma

The renovated home of Daniel To and Emma Aiston is perfectly playful, complete with a charming yellow kitchen, and plenty of personality!
Christina Karras

Food

Julia's Handmade Strozzapreti With Tiny Meatballs

Julia Busuttil Nishimura shares a recipe from her new cookbook 'Around The Table' – an instant family favourite!
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

News

Treat Yourself To A Better Sleep With DOMO's Epic Bed Promotion

Now’s your chance to upgrade to your dream bed – DOMO are offering 20% off all King and Queen beds in stock!
Sponsored

Studio Visit

Inside Bianca Pintan's Vividly Colourful Ceramic Practice!

The Brazilian-born artist now works and lives in Byron Bay, pushing the boundaries with her bold and bright ceramics.
Christina Karras

Similar Stories

Architecture

An American-Style Barn Meets The Iconic Australian Shed, In Queensland

Paul Uhlmann Architects put an Australian spin on the American barn in Pullenvale, Queensland.

Interiors

A Light And Lofty Rural Masterpiece

‘The Barn’ in South Gippsland takes contemporary, regional accommodation to a new level!

Architecture

A Palm Springs-Inspired Oasis In Suburban Sydney

This renovated mid-century home in Vaucluse by Nick Bell Architects brings the WOW-factor!
Miriam McGarry

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