Benn + Penna
Sydney architecture firm Benn + Penna specialise in residential architecture and small commercial projects with a penchant for heritage alterations and additions. A key thread in their alterations and additions projects is the material of brick. Lead architect Sean Tran says this is because they have an inherent landscape quality and high thermal mass while bringing character and modesty to a project. “In Henley Clays project we strategically used the same brick for both wall and floor material, as well as on both enclosed and external spaces,” Sean says. “By doing this, the line between outside and inside spaces is made ambiguous.”
Instead of creating one large and open space, the Benn + Penna team decided to frame a series of more outdoor rooms in their Henley Clays project. “Each outdoor room is directly connected to one or more indoor rooms, allowing for inside and outside activities to spill between one another and be combined,” Sean says.
Sean acknowledges that while it’s known the Australian climate can be harsh, our outdoor living spaces can be designed and orientated to suit the climate, as in Henley Clays House. “The courtyard is protected on three sides by the building walls, open to the north side only to attract the highest sun whilst shielding from the wind,” he says. “The rear pool, on the other hand, is more open, yet located on the sunniest end of the site for water to glisten in the light.”