Sydney Sandstone

The natural beauty of this 1850s sandstone terrace house was hidden behind years of unsympathetic alterations. Our clients’ brief was to revive and contemporise the home while respecting its past. Our strategy was to peel back the layers, revealing the stone structure while bringing in light and opening up new interior spaces.


Location Balmain, NSW - Traditional Custodians: Wann Peoples
Size (m2) 170
Completion 2014

Our Team

Shaun Carter
Lindsey Chandler


Landscape Architecture Melissa Wilson Landscape Architects
Structural Engineering Cardno
Acoustic Engineering Dan Dang
Construction Ciolino Constructions
Photography The Guthrie Project


Houses Awards, Heritage Shortlist

Peeling back layers of the past has brought the original sandstone structure back to life.

The street facade, with timber shutters, picket fences, and slate roofing, was restored to its original form and condition. Beyond this, a new roof was pitched above the old living area, revealing the silhouettes of prior alterations.

Sandstone columns mark the original cottage footprint and new thresholds into the kitchen/living areas where skylights in the new roofline – unseen from the street – dramatically infuse the reconfigured interior with light.

A wall of sliding doors allows the space to be upscaled or downscaled for flexible use, while large sliding glass doors connect living spaces to the courtyard, where local convict-cut stone is embedded in the landscaping.

Traces of past alterations are now legible as silhouettes on the old sandstone walls.

Related Projects