Alexander Symes Architecture

Perched on the eastern spur of Linden in the lower Blue Mountains, sat a project home partially completed in 2003. The new owners, a young couple, decided after suffering through several cold winters that it was time to renovate the house into a thermally comfortable family home.

The clients originally wanted to maintain the two existing pavilions: one for guest accommodation and the other for ancillary spaces and create a new dwelling to the east, increasing floor space to accommodate a family and capture the surrounding bushland and easterly views across the Sydney basin to the harbour and city.

ASA proposed an alternate way of thinking about the site with the main principles of respecting the bushland at the core and re-using as much of the existing built form, services and structure as possible to reduce waste and manage costs.

From this re-interpretation of the existing “L-House” was created: a north-eastern pavilion for the parents, flowing to a new central family pavilion, which would navigate the level changes in the landscape to connect with the existing east-west pavilion, housing the children’s area, an office and ancillary spaces.

This consolidation of the built form created a single eastern elevation where the sweeping views to the city skyline could be appreciated from multiple living spaces.

L-House is not a traditional north facing passive design, rather it is a high performance thermal home that responds to the site.

A low window-to-wall ratio for example, enables the easterly views to be enjoyed with skylights employed to ensure a well daylit home.