Carter Williamson Architects


Forest Lodge, 2020

Shortlist – 2020 IDEA Awards: Residential Single

Project Team:
Shaun Carter
Julie Niass

Landscape: Melissa Wilson Landscape Architects
Photographer: Katherine Lu


Pompei is a considerately updated terrace house situated in Sydney’s small Inner-West suburb of Forest Lodge. Our clients brought us a former B&B with lockable rear rooms, looking to turn a building of rooms into a home. Our response was to rationalise the plan, to remove redundant function and bring back the historical grandeur of a magnificent High-Victorian terrace, creating an open plan house that is both spacious and contemporary.

Downstairs, Pompei’s living space has been reinvigorated through a cleaner logical circulation of rooms, making the home whole again, and the removal of a selection of walls has opened the house to enable spacious living where certain rooms flow into each other; gone are the tight rabbit warren-like spaces.

Pompei’s material and colour palette was arrived at early in the design process. Our clients wanted a warm, light palette to complement their family’s life. We landed upon a palette of natural materials, Pompei’s Terrazzo floor anchoring the palette, features in timber, marble, brass and linen curtains accentuating the design. Pompei’s colour is complimented by healthy swathes of Dulux’s Kangaroo Pouch, a pastel ochre pink that not only compliments the clients want for a warm, inviting colour palette, but retains the homes natural, organic feel.

This colour and material palette flows throughout the home, prevailing through the Ming green marble fan tiles in the homes bathrooms, again through much of Pompei’s furnishing and interior design details. The open-plan kitchen, living, dining area is composed through the kitchens scalloped bench which is use from each space, shaped as such to allow free passage through the home, avoiding the constricting feel of the original terrace house and creating as much space as possible.

A driving force of our client choosing the home was its unusually large backyard for a home situated so close to the city, perfect for a young family to enjoy. The existing backyard was very space inefficient, occupied by. Curved terraced garden beds which limited usable space. We freed up this space by splitting the garden into three distinct parts, a patio for outdoor dining, and equal parts lawn and pool, the client’s ideal backyard for their needs.

When approaching a project such as Pompei, an option is to knockdown and rebuild, however in the spirit of creating sustainable architecture, we adopted the concept of adaptive reuse; maintaining the bones of the home and modernising it. Not only does this create less environmental strain by drawing a smaller amount of materials, it allow Pompei to continue to tell its unique story.