Andrew Burges Architects revamped a “badly planned” 1940s bungalow in Sydney into a light-filled dwelling for six that boasts a low energy footprint. The aptly named Skylight House provides better access to natural light and greater connection to the garden. The refreshing update features three new skylights, an extension built from reclaimed bricks, and hydronic underfloor heating to reduce energy usage.
Instead of stacking the addition on top of the original home, the architects created a compact single-level design that tucked the extension behind the existing house. A distinct V-shaped cross-section was created between the pitched roof of the existing home and that of the new addition. The architects added three new skylights to the V-shaped gap for a total of five skylights that funnel daylight deep into the house. “The skylights and shaped section has also determined the material character of the house,” write the architects. ‘The section creates a play between an abstract, white, sculptured ceiling line and bulkhead datum, which washes light on the more robust natural finishes used below the ceiling and bulkhead datum.”
The new extension features a natural materials palette with recycled brick reused from the existing house’s demolished rear walls, American oak joinery, and concrete floors. Full-height sliding screens open the extension up to the garden. In addition to the material choice to limit waste, the architects added hydronic underfloor heating, cross ventilation, and solar shading to reduce the home’s carbon footprint.