68 Wolseley Road

CategoryContribution to the Built Environment
ArchitectJohn Bohane

68 Wolseley Road is a graceful adaptation to the 1920s semi-detached house. The language of the new home remains sympathetic to its original character, while creating a light, generous, low energy home.

The dwelling sits quietly on a heritage-listed road and privately reimagines the potential of the humble semi detached dwelling as an affordable, beautiful and sustainable building typology. It engages socially with a deck and garden to the street and innovatively transforms the rear into a private delight.

The original semi consisted of long dark corridors and unconnected rooms. A continuous sight line is created through consecutive aligned doors through to views over Balmoral, bringing light and a gully breeze through the whole house.

The original living room was removed to create an internal courtyard, allowing each room to access light, views and ventilation on three sides and establish separate pavilions while maintaining a central point of connection.


  • The house embodies an affordable, low-tech, passive design for sustainable living
  • It caters across generational needs from a young family to aging in place
  • Low V.O.C natural materials are used in construction such as timber, recycled brick, breathable unpainted plaster walls, clay, stone, wool, plywood and minimal steel is used

Innovative sustainable design elements:

  • The courtyard model is an ancient sustainable typology deployed here with modernised double glazed doors and windows harnessing the elements and providing social autonomy
  • A gun barrel sight line has been designed through consecutive aligned doors that allow light, views and breeze through the entire house, reducing energy needs

Environmental footprint of the building is minimised by:

Most significantly, the house gives a family a spacious 3-4 bedroom home in 125sqm – half the size of most 3-4 bed homes in Sydney. Combined with sustainable building materials, Australian timber, harnessing natural light, cooling and heating, this is an extremely low energy home for a family across generations.