Spiegel Haus

Inspired by the Spiegeltent, Europe’s fine old travelling music salon of canvas and lead-light mirrors, Spiegel Haus in Sydney unfurls with a show of theatrics and material craft uncommon in the suburbs. An ingenious multi-generational home that’s rich in material detail and environmental design.

Information

Location Gadigal country, Alexandria, NSW
Completion 2014

Our Team

Shaun Carter
Patrick Fitzgerald

Collaborators

Engineering Cardno
Landscape Architecture Melissa Wilson Landscape Architects
Photography Brett Boardman

Awards

Australian Timber Design Awards, Residential Interior Fitout Winner
Houses Awards, New House Over 200m2 Shortlist

A light-refracting mirrored void spatially divides living and dining areas without the need for walls.

The original facade is preserved and a new two-storey house inserted, along with a separate atelier/garage addressing the rear lane. Between the two is a secure, landscaped garden.

The mirrored void separates spaces physically upstairs, and visually downstairs. Materials throughout follow a structural logic. The ground-level concrete floor delivers thermal mass. The cocooning central stairwell is lined in hardwood, while ceilings and select walls are white-washed wood panelling. Externally, black steel window frames and awnings are balanced with iron-rich brickwork and black mosaic tiles, wherever the building has been carved into.

The house includes solar power and hot water, rainwater harvesting, hydronic floor heating, and an air-reticulation system to stabilise indoor temperatures.

The cocooning warmth of wood is at play in the stairwell, wrapped entirely in rich grey ironbark.

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