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Tour: Architect Chris Cole’s Sydney House

Maybe I just don’t know the American architectural landscape as well as I do the Australian, but it seems to me that the work I see coming out of that country is beyond extraordinary. Thoughtful, intelligent, modern in a way I don’t see in the States very often. Take Chris Cole’s work. He’d be relegated to the edges as a ‘green’ architect here. But in Sydney his work gleams at the heart of a vibrant design community I really miss. I love this addition he did for a family home in Sydney. I’ve included his take on the house below – but I think the photos tell the whole story beautifully

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“The design brief for the Dulwich Hill Residence called for the addition of an open kitchen, outdoor living space, dining, bathroom and laundry to an existing semi-detached period home for a young family with four children under four years old including triplets. A bold conceptual approach has been taken to accentuate the bathroom and laundry as a feature to the rear of the home. Large sliding doors disappear seamlessly into the egg-shaped bathroom and laundry pod, allowing the internal living space to extend outdoors. Concealed retractable flyscreens have been designed to completely screen the kitchen and dining space when the glazed sliding doors are opened. When both sliding doors and retractable flyscreens are completely opened there is no visual sign of any doors and the sense of being in a covered outdoor living room is achieved. An extension of the kitchen bench leads to a BBQ area with spotted gum decking and built in seating connecting the living space to the garden and playing area. The existing pressed tin ceiling was salvaged and restored in the new kitchen and dining spaces providing a sense of connection and unified palette between the existing period details and the contemporary additions. The project embraces the idea that everyday tasks such as washing clothes need not be hidden away in a dark room and that the expression of these functions in a new typology can provide exciting opportunities for the creation of seamless indoor outdoor living space.”

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I am a journalist who blogs about design and architecture. I'm Australian. I live in Los Angeles. I've got two kids, a husband and a house on a hill.

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