Photography: Brett Boardman
The Neutral Bay House is a much-altered Federation Arts and Crafts house; an architecture borrowed from a cold climate with a fondness for flat, green land as its foundation. This was no such site, however the makers of this home were able to bench the land to carve out a suitable sandstone platform. At street level the house sits on high, with harbour views beyond, whilst at the rear the platform meets a high, stepped, sandstone escarpment, which climbs to a level twelve metres above the finished floor level at the rear boundary.
The brief was to reinvent the existing living space, to open it to embrace the garden and mediate between the house and the sandstone escarpment. Lifting the roofline to mimic the slope of the land enabled the house to take possession of the dramatic landscape of the garden, while the interior spatial organisation allows the kitchen to address both the room and the garden beyond. Doors at the rear fold open to expand the space out to meet the sandstone wall. Along the street frontage, the existing convict built, sandstone wall was rebuilt to retain its original weathered patina.
A beautiful partnership between old and new has been forged.