Balmoral House works as a series of stacked interconnected brick volumes that carefully manoeuvre down the site, wrapping around a secluded light-filled courtyard and terrace area to create an array of connected interior and exterior spaces. The site presents many difficulties being wedged shaped, on the low side of the street, hemmed in by two substantial existing houses and with just half the land area of its neighbours. To unlock the site we subverted the obvious strategy of an elevated living space with balcony facing the view, placing the living areas instead on the lower ground level to open up oblique views to Balmoral Beach and Rocky Point Island beyond. The design process was therefore about finding a sense of delight where on first inspection there appeared to be little.
The building takes full advantage of its solid aesthetic, providing thermal mass boosted by hydronic heating to regulate internal temperatures. In summer plentiful cross ventilation and planted roofs keep the building cool, while PVs offset the energy use of the house.
Photos: Katherine Lu