Brise Soleil

An 1860s workers’ cottage is reimagined with a dramatic rear addition, unseen from the preserved street frontage. Beyond a polite weatherboard facade, its series of lofty, light-infused spaces unfold in contrast to the original rooms. The rear facade is a tour de force of concrete banding with marble blades – a brise soleil - brilliantly opening the house to light.


Location Balmain, NSW - Traditional Custodians: Wann Peoples
Completion 2010

Our Team

Shaun Carter
Patrick Fitzgerald
Lisa Merkesteyn


Engineering Cardno
Landscape Architecture Melissa Wilson Landscape Architects
Photography Brett Boardman


NSW Architecture Awards, Small Projects Commendation

Marble blades become an instrument of light, producing bands of shade by day, and an iridescent sunset glow.

The extension houses a new open-plan kitchen and living area, extending out into a private garden terrace. A light well and two-storey void connects the old and new sections, signalling a tectonic shift in materials and spatial quality.

A timber staircase leads to new bedrooms and a mezzanine overlooking the living area. Beside it, a striking red-lacquered screen echoes the intricacy of the brise soleil.

The rear facade’s strong concrete banding is tempered with fixed louvres of marble that filter and attenuate north sun in summer, while allowing it to penetrate deeply during winter.

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