Hollowed-out house in Sydney
by Tribe Studio

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Australian office Tribe Studio has hollowed out the centre of a 1920s house in Sydney to create angular ceilings and a wide entrance to the garden (+ slideshow).

Renovated single-storey house with distorted ceiling voids by Tribe Studio

Tribe Studio created House Chapple by retaining the original 1920s frontage of the old bungalow, renovating the interior and replacing a later extension at the rear.

Renovated single-storey house with distorted ceiling voids by Tribe Studio

"The challenge of this house was to achieve sun and privacy while appreciating both aspects," said the architects. "Our client wanted to retain the romantic elements of the house and its sense of humility in a suburb of flashy new builds."

Renovated single-storey house with distorted ceiling voids by Tribe Studio

The architects removed a suspended ceiling in the centre of the house, creating a double-height living space with pyramid-shaped ceiling profiles. They also added skylights at the top and installed pendant lights with long cables.

Renovated single-storey house with distorted ceiling voids by Tribe Studio

"We allowed light into the centre of the plan, promoting stack-effect ventilation and reinforcing the unusual order of operation of the house," they added.

Renovated single-storey house with distorted ceiling voids by Tribe Studio

A street-facing sunroom is positioned above the garage, with views out across Sydney Harbour. The room opens out into the main living space that includes a lounge, kitchen and dining area.

Renovated single-storey house with distorted ceiling voids by Tribe Studio

Three bedrooms, a TV room and a study are positioned along the sides of the main space.

Renovated single-storey house with distorted ceiling voids by Tribe Studio

At the rear, the wide entrance opens onto a wooden deck flanking a garden with a long rectangular swimming pool.

Renovated single-storey house with distorted ceiling voids by Tribe Studio

Polished wooden floorboards and white walls feature throughout, while the brick exterior walls have been painted white.

Renovated single-storey house with distorted ceiling voids by Tribe Studio

Photography is by Katherine Lu.

Here's a project description from Tribe Studio:


House Chapple

With fantastic harbour views and a northerly orientation to the street-front and a wonderful garden and existing pool to the rear, the challenge of this house was to achieve sun and privacy while appreciating both aspects.

Renovated single-storey house with distorted ceiling voids by Tribe Studio

The house has been in our clients family since the 1960s. An important part of our brief was finding a balance between new and old architecturally and sentimentally.

Renovated single-storey house with distorted ceiling voids by Tribe Studio

Our client wanted to retain the romantic elements of the house, and its sense of humility in a suburb of flashy new builds. She was simultaneously keen to have a new start in this house and have it feel her own.

Renovated single-storey house with distorted ceiling voids by Tribe Studio

The strategy is a modest one: retain the original 1920s bungalow frontage and replace a poor 1960s addition at the rear.

Renovated single-storey house with distorted ceiling voids by Tribe Studio

The primary move is to cave out central part of the plan as living spaces with clear views to the front (harbour) and back (garden). The central band of living space is contained on either side by cellular ribbons of bedrooms and utility.

Renovated single-storey house with distorted ceiling voids by Tribe Studio

The living space occupies the area underneath the peak of the original roof. The ceiling is removed and a series of distorted pyramid ceiling voids are created within the original geometry, allowing light into the centre of the plan, promoting stack effect ventilation and reinforcing the unusual order of operation of the house.

Renovated single-storey house with distorted ceiling voids by Tribe Studio

On the high side of the site, the master bedroom is nestled against an existing cliff-face, juxtaposing its harbour view and a close encounter with mossy sandstone and a cheeky orchid garden.

Renovated single-storey house with distorted ceiling voids by Tribe Studio

The intention is modest: a replacement addition that is fully concealed from the street and minimal facelift to the front.

Floor plan of Renovated single-storey house with distorted ceiling voids by Tribe Studio
Floor plan - click for larger image

Project Title: House Chapple
Project Design Practice: Tribe Studio
Design Team: Hannah Tribe, Miriam Green, Ricci Bloch
Project Location: Mosman, Sydney NSW
Completion Date: March 2013

Section of Renovated single-storey house with distorted ceiling voids by Tribe Studio
Section - click for larger image
  • lozza

    Those chairs man…

  • Concerned Citizen

    With all the trouble it takes to get to the entry door, I would expect to enter something better than a servant’s workspace.