Lou and Daniela, Light Cannon House, Annandale
We first became involved with CWA during mid-2010 when we were considering a renovation of our 1890s terrace home in Annandale, NSW. We had spoken with a “short list” of six architects at that time about their vision for our home and Shaun Carter from CWA was the most passionate and considered architect we had met. He is a true visionary and his boundless enthusiasm for the project won us over as clients.
We provided a tough remit to CWA, i.e. to introduce significantly more light and space into our dark and modest two-bedroom terrace situated on a small (120m2) block of land with a high degree of vulnerability and difficult shadowing issues, a non-trivial project to say the least. We also had a modest budget to work with so all costs had to be contained. Selected quotes from our original brief included: “areas to be distinct but connected in a non-discontinuous, flowing manner”, and “minimalist and industrial design are the preferred aesthetic but we wish to preserve the character of the original terrace”. In hindsight, there is no doubt some of our expectations were somewhat ambitious but we can confidently state that all aspects of our difficult brief were addressed in our renovation. We now have an extremely beautiful, totally unique, and functional home with many synergies. CWA’s attention to even the smallest details was incredible. We also preserved features (“memories”) of the old terrace brickwork that now look like they are part of our art collection. We have a lovely kitchen/dining area, with its sleek black über-modern look, being juxtaposed with the pure white, old industrial-like brick art-wall on the other side of the room. A polished concrete floor and grey ironbark island bench complete this area. Our central courtyard is home to a Japanese moss and slate garden with a water feature. It is a serene part of our home that we will enjoy for many years to come. Then there are the two impressive bespoke light cannons, the main design highlight of our home which continues to amaze us and our many visitors. The open, cathedral-like void that is created more than compensates for the small area of the house, and the natural light that is now drawn into the house by the light cannons (and central courtyard) is simply stunning.
It is clear from the above that we are extremely pleased with our new home. Despite the modest scale of the project, Shaun, Fiona and the CWA team never waivered from their grand vision and at no stage did we ever disagree with the direction of the renovation. We had complete faith in CWA and we wanted them to express their vision as they saw fit even with the inherent risks associated with doing something different, a formidable challenge when dealing with Council. CWA also consulted with us at each design stage, valued our opinions, and made sure our concerns were always addressed with the utmost professionalism. We allowed CWA to create something special which was not only unique in its design and in the judicious use of space and materials but also thoroughly functional and a joy to live in. Every part of the house was carefully considered. No stone (brick) was left unturned.
We both give CWA our strongest recommendation and we wish them every success in the future.
Daniela + Lou