North Bondi House by James Garvan Architecture

James Garvan Architecture take a home’s North Bondi context and turn it on its head, to design a sustainable and contemporary response.

When an architect, interior designer and builder were all friends prior to a project’s inception – and still are – you can only expect a highly-considered result. You can also expect a deviation from the norm, like James Garvan Architecture, Tom Cull builders and Lisa Tackenberg’s semi-detached North Bondi home.

Through a collaboration that focused on a connection with the outdoors and an environmentally-conscious future, the team have created a new landmark for the back streets of North Bondi.

This new addition to North Bondi offers its locale a sense of possibility. Architect James Garvan says they approached the project with a broader mission to create a new kind of semi-detached housing, that is more in line with the way people live in North Bondi. Essentially, James wanted to craft North Bondi’s social and cultural context into a contemporary home. This can be seen through the clean white front facade that mirrors the geometry of neighbouring homes, but is stripped of their ornamentation.

Key project challenges included the home’s disengagement from the streetscape, traditional facade and limited natural light. The client, who was also the project’s builder, emphasised a need for a stronger connection to the outdoors, privacy and a home that considered thermal conditions.

Semi-detached homes are known for lacking sunlight and ventilation at their core. To inject more natural light in the home without sacrificing privacy, James Garvan Architecture created a large void in the middle of the home, which features openable skylights above. The design team also created openings at the front and rear to welcome a breeze and an improved connection to the landscape.

Sustainability was not only front of mind for James Garvan Architecture; they recognised it was an attitude upheld by the local area. The design team introduced solar cells, window screening, ample ventilation opportunities, large rainwater tanks, long life and low embodied energy materials; considerate of both the home’s inhabitants and the planet.

The material palette is shared between inside and outside, honing in on texture and pattern. James Garvan Architecture focused on the natural, through limed European Oak floors, as well as bespoke polished concrete vanities in the bathroom and a concrete benchtop in the kitchen. Outside, the Western Red Cedar Battens mirror the same effect in the kitchen joinery, painted with Dulux Vivid White to give a clean and composed appearance.

While it may typically appear not-so North Bondi, this team of collaborators has captured the essence of its neighbourhood in a well-resolved abode, ensuring a considered, sustainable future.

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