53 Middle Head Road

CategoryContribution to the Built Environment
ArchitectPaul Berkemeier Architect

The standing seam zinc roof that comprises the first floor addition to this 1930’s dwelling presents itself as a recessive contemporary element that folds over the traditional terracotta tiled roof.

It embodies a sculptural form that is subservient in its importance and differentiates itself from the attractive, traditional cottage detailing without dominating it.

The new roof form has been manipulated to slope away from the side boundaries in order to minimise the apparent volume of the two storey addition when viewed from street level as well as neighbouring dwellings.

A significant portion of the existing dwelling and period detailing was left in tact, however extensive works to the northern façade have created a double height glass wall, that not only takes advantage of stunning views, but also increases solar passivity in winter and cross ventilation in summer.


The overall environmental footprint and impact of the building have been minimised to embrace sustainability in design and construction.

Energy and water have been used effectively, waste and toxins have been minimised to protect occupant health, and materials have been used efficiently through reuse and recycling wherever possible.

Innovative sustainable design elements:

  • North facing glass walls creating abundant natural light and increased winter solar passivity
  • Solid brick western walls with minimal glazing
  • Brick construction to assist with increased thermal massing
  • Bricks, soil, sandstone and flooring from demolished areas reused for new construction
  • Cross ventilation via clerestory louvres
  • R5 insulation to ceilings

Environmental footprint of the building is minimised by:

Design works involved leaving a significant portion of the existing dwelling and period detailing in tact, rather than undertake a complete rebuild.

The roofspace of the existing dwelling has been effectively used to increase the floor area of the second story extension, through the creation of an intimate media room.