Born again: Luigi Rosselli Architects remodel a 1950s terraced house in Sydney

Born again: Luigi Rosselli Architects remodel a 1950s terraced house in Sydney

The Luigi Rosselli team recently completed a high-end terrace house in Woollahra, Sydney, that is at once romantic, contemporary and pragmatic. The variously two- and three-storey terrace – dubbed Bougainvillea Row House – was designed for a film director and his family. And its tall, lean design replaced all but a quarter of the 1950s house, which preceded it.

Presented with the challenge to design a relaxed, flexible and light-filled family home on a 200 sq m sloping site, the team made use of split-levels, light shafts, ample glazing and sculptural ceiling work to maximise volumes and natural light. In some rooms French doors and windows climb to 3.5m, or frame panoramic views of Sydney’s harbour and leafy suburbs. ‘In the master ensuite an [internal] shower can be taken under the stars,’ said Luigi Roselli. ‘And a view of the clouds enjoyed from the toilet.’

Horizontal openings in an upstairs bedroom offer views to Sydney Harbour

Not only fine and expansive, the Bouganvillea House model might be an important antidote to the housing affordability crisis, according to its designers, if subdivisions of quarter acre blocks were permitted. The terrace’s superbly detailed interior incorporates oak veneers, high-end brass fittings, custom leather bench seats, expanses of carrara marble, and a pleasing fishscale motif, repeated on balustrade screens and cut-steel lacework.

While art decor, a French palace and Irish furniture designer, Eileen Gray, were some of the eclectic inspirations behind the design. In all, the Rosselli team have transformed a 1950s ugly duckling into one of the multi-era Cinderellas in the street – as well as a seriously good template for the future.

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