Andrew Burges Architects created the holiday home named Bismarck House. It is located in the Sydney suburb of Bondi. The house was designed for Will Dangar from Dangar Barin Smith’s landscaping practice to look different from the surrounding residential environment.
“Bondi is a popular coastal place set within beautiful geography, but marked with an agglomeration of poor quality building stock,” said Andrew Burges Architects founder, Andrew Burges.
“The idea was that the house would function primarily as a site for holiday rentals, while also demonstrating the capacity of our client’s construction and landscape design companies.”
The site is located on the path that serves shops and cafes on Bondi Street to Bondi Beach. It has a one-story building that does not make full use of sunlight and air. Andrew Burges Architects preserved the existing antechamber and foyer of the house and worked them within the enclosure. But the rest of the original building was demolished with bricks cleaned and reused for the new two-story construction.
“We were interested in the laneway for its potential for social interaction between the house and lane, and the grittiness, and also the opportunity, given the client makes gardens, to create a footprint that extended the presence of the garden along the length of the laneway,” said Burges.
The studio works on the idea of ”continuous garden” as a way to organize and maximize space, and puts the garden at the heart of the scheme. To create a flowing connection between the inside and outside, the studio considers the garden and the building itself to be the ground floor of the house.
“Our starting point was to think of the site boundary of the house as the ground level house enclosure,” said Burges.
“Glazing and walls form moments within the site boundary that also happen to make thermal and rain enclosures, but these alignments have not been considered as the house perimeter – the site is the perimeter,” he added.
This concept influences the material for the ground floor, which was chosen to reinforce the sturdy outdoor character.
“All parts of the ground level were considered as outdoor materials, evident in the tiled kitchen, timber window seat, brick stair, mesh balustrade, face brick and mortar washed walls, raw steel-framed glazing, galvanised steel columns and awnings, and concrete floors,” said Burges.
The lower floor rooms open onto gardens and walkways, while a succulent garden is elevated to protect the upstairs back bedroom from the low western sunshine.
“The site was chosen for its north-east aspect and the potential for borrowing light along the northern laneway,” Burges explained.
“The building footprint is intentionally restrained in size – to allow garden and light to fold between the lines of enclosure.”
“The exterior is defined by a screen in perforated aluminium sheet – a standard perforated sheet ordered off the shelf in mill finish aluminium,” said Burges.
“The sheet was pleated so that the pleat dimension lands on every second rise of the corrugated sheet walling that provides enclosure beneath the screen,”
The undulating shape of the upstairs helps bring light into the garden below, as well as into the kitchen through the skylight. Curved walls also mean the bedroom benefits from windows that do not directly face the building across the street.
Upstairs, the interior is dominated by proyalbi, a smooth stucco applied to the walls and ceiling. A hardwearing concrete floor and galvanized steel handrails continuing the theme of combining function and beauty.