pilic.work

smart design studio adapts to an irregular lot

smart design studio completes its brick ‘nickson 61’ dwelling as an example of adaptive reuse in the australian city of surry hills. the challenging site is located at the end of a row of terraces towards the end of the street, and contained a late-19th century terrace beside a vacant lot measuring three meters (nearly ten feet) wide. this lot was originally occupied by a home which has since been demolished. the resulting lot was a detrimental break in the pattern of built form, namely the scale of the streetscape with its properties filling the boundaries of each plot.

images by romello pereira | @romellopereirastudio

reimagining the tradition corner building in surry hills

in response to the irregular site, smart design studio (see more here) determined several key objectives to strengthen the character of nickson street. the include the reintroduction of built form and, the reinterpretation of the traditional corner building, the selection of materials and forms that enhance the aspect, and the integration of windows to create bright, private interiors which have great engagement to their surroundings. 

the traditional typology for a corner site within this conservation areas is the corner shop — a modest-scale building that reinforces the corner and provides public amenity and personality to the urban precinct. the design establishes a contemporary version of this typology, addressing the traditional angled corner boundary form and responding to the typical brickwork construction of the corner building.

the bold new peeling form completes the row of the terraces and provides contrast to the existing built form that was restored to its original victorian detail. the sculptural form is carefully considered to retain the expression of adjacent terrace envelope, while strategic slots in the façade curve out to open to the street corner and sky.

the sustainable intervention

smart design studio’s nickson 61 house observes fundamental principles of energy efficiency and makes the most of passive thermal and solar design on a difficult south-facing site. the additions provide improved access to natural light and ventilation for the residential dwellings including generous windows. new walls have cavity insulation while the existing terrace roof was retrofitted with insulation to improve thermal comfort. a below-ground rainwater tank was installed for reuse of water on site.

nickson 61 is a contemporary, bespoke contribution to surry hills. it offers clever reuse of existing building stock to provide boutique commercial and residential space that exemplifies the vibrant mixed-use character of the suburb and provides a bold formal addition to the architecture of the area.

the design establishes a contemporary version of the corner building
the team responds to the typical brickwork construction of the area