Waratah Secondary House


Waratah Secondary House is a 60sqm secondary dwelling embracing constraints of budget, floor area and flood controls while acknowledging its urban context and sustainability. The resulting design is spatially economic while rich in amenity.
Due to flood mitigation controls, the primary living level is elevated 1.2m above the natural ground level. The ground floor is expanded as it opens out on either side to a street facing terrace and private sunken deck respectively, creating a seamless transition from indoors to out and enhancing the comfort and quality of the living spaces. To overcome the difficulty of connecting living spaces to the outdoors, hard and soft landscaping including stairs, decks and earth mounding were introduced.
The project is shaped by an ethos of minimising costs whilst maximising efficiency at every opportunity. Using standard concrete blockwork and prefabricated materials, structurally insulated panels (SIPs) and pre-finished fibre cement panels, a simple, box-like form was conceived, expediting construction times and maximising efficiency. Wall and roof SIPs were selected as the primary material for their environmental benefits and superior insulation, while double glazed, operable doors and windows are designed to promote cross ventilation and maintain thermal comfort.

Photography: Christopher Frederick Jones