Oct 6, 2011

Folded & Rolled: Skylight House by Chenchow Little

Playing with lines as if they were cake icing,
this house extension & utter transformation 
of Skylight House by Sydney architects Chenchow Little,
balances crisp simple geometry with the most lusciously 
scooped ceiling swathes.

 Look closely.
The raw concrete steps run straight through
from the courtyard to the interior,
while the glass merely floats above & around them.
The extension wraps around an existing banksia tree,
providing a restful & beautiful verdant focus point.
 Here is the Victorian front facade 
of wrought iron lace & plastered mouldings,
sitting in a street of various architectural styles.
{The entire streetfront is heritage listed.} 
The front gives no hint to what may lay inside...
Easy to see why it gained the name of "skylight house",
because the emphasis on shafts of light against shadow
feature both in the courtyard & from these amazing ceilings.
With spotted gum timber, raw concrete finishes & 
a simplicity of line throughout,
this is a very restful and calming house, 
which belies the business of the street outside. 

Do you like it?

Architects: Chenchow Little
Images: TCH


  1. Miss Virgina

    that is a nice one - gosh is has some clean lines doesn't it.

    have a wonderful day



  2. Heavens, you don't miss much Annie with your eagle designer eye! And yes, I completely and utterly agree, it is much harder to pull off the minimalist style with warmth and a human softness, and so few people get it right. This house won the NSW state Architecture Awards recently, and is in the running for the nationals. So I will be curious to see how it goes. It's got my vote! 

  3. Oh how gorgeous of you to say that Heather! 

  4. It's always that dilemma - how to get an historic facade to work with more contemporary architecture. Should it copy, or reference, or should it contrast? I think the answer is: it all works, as long as it done with extreme care and brilliant design. 

  5. And the contrast between shafts of daylight and the shadows is beautifully mimicked in the use of black and white in the colouring, too, which works beautifully I think. If a house is described as "interesting and beautiful" as you say, I should think there could be no higher sign of success of good residential architecture! 

  6. Good point Sarah! Would be interesting to be a fly on the wall at the front door to see first time visitor's faces, wouldn't it?


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