Birchgrove House

Carter Williamson Architects

The original sandstone cottage was painstakingly restored, with a delicate white steel staircase encased in patterned brick stitching it together with the contemporary addition. The project negotiates a steep waterfront site as it cascades down across several levels from the street to the harbour.

Tasked with celebrating the joy of small family rituals as well as bigger social occasions, it spreads itself across a series of spaces that scale effortlessly. Its planes are pinched and pulled in a series of flourishes, cleaved into two wings punctuated with a cluster of soaring voids to allow old and new to coexist in a unified, optimistic future.

Generous terrace spaces open from the kitchen, pool, and garden, with the roof garden maximising the building’s green space and echoing the rolling interior forms. The upper levels are home to wistfully curved light apertures, while the lower levels reveal the cut sandstone escarpment.


Lighting: Tom Dixon Globe Burst Chandelier Copper – Tom Dixon, Tom Dixon Globe Pendant Light – Tom Dixon, Lost Profile Colossal Pendant – Est Lighting. Finishes: Travertine crazy paving – Eco Outdoor, Marble, various – SNB Stone, Artedomus, Avant Stone, Bricks – Bowral Chillingham White – Brickworks. Fittings & Fixtures: Brodware taps etc throughout – Just Bathroom, Zip Tap, various – Winnings.


Photography: Pablo Veiga, with styling by Claire Delmar