It was a truly nice Spring day on 13 October when we had our Northern Suburbs Residential Bus Tour. The tour was fully booked and there were quite a number of names on a waiting list, however, the number of seats on the bus was limited and we could not take in any more passengers.
Our bus started from Circular Quay and headed north towards Seaforth. The first stop was the Delaney House designed by Jorge Hrdina. With the use of sandstone and hardwood, the house blended in very well with the environment. Jorge explained how he captured the water view with his arrangement of rooms along this long site and how he arrived at the layout with the complete separation of the parent's floor and the children's floor by the living spaces.
(Visit the architect's website for more photos)
The next stop of our tour was a renovated semi in Fairlight. The owner-architects Luisa and David greeted us into their home with great hospitality. In 2005, they met through volunteering for the AAA, fell in love and got married a couple of years later. They now run their practice Manfredini McCrae Architects from their home. Luisa talked about the design process and how they converted the ageing, run-down semi into a contemporary two-storey home + office. David told us that they have been very cost-conscious during the design and contruction process. The end result proves that great designs can be achieved by good architects at many different cost-points.
(This house and our tour was featured on the Manly Daily, read here)
We then arrived at the Smith Residence in Cremorne, designed by David Boyle. The original Federation house was the childhood home for the client, who now has his own family with children. David decided to remove the undesirable additions such as the garage and the rear extension. A new living pavilion is added to the back while creating a new courtyard between it and the existing bedroom. The pavilion is an exploration of the relationship between house and garden, the form was sculpted to respond to the mature Jacaranda tree in the backyard.
(Visit the architect's website for more information & photos)
As usual, our residential bus tour includes a great lunch close to the places we visit. This time we chose Martha's in Castlecrag. Our President, Tone Wheeler joined us there to meet and thank our members and supporters. After enjoying a delicious two-course lunch, we were all excited to continue our journey for the day!
After a short bus ride, we arrived at this home in Castlecrag designed by Smyth & Smyth. David Smyth explained his design to us under the dramatic entry canopy and then showed us through the waterfront house on a relatively wide site. Almost every room was drenched in the beauty of Middle Harbour. The study was an interesting exception. It retreated from the breathtaking view and focused at the serene quality of a small lawn. At the rear, we walked down the terraced landscaping to the infinity pool visually connected with the harbour.
We then headed towards Lane Cove and visited the Woodford Bay House designed by MacCormick & Associates Architects. Michael MacCormick told us about the steep descent of the site and how he used voids and sculptural staircases to reduce the perceived level changes in this 4-storey house. The use of light coloured timber and stone made the rooms bright and airy, while the various details utilising light fittings further enhanced the lightness of the home.
(Visit the architect's website for more information and photos)
After enjoying a full day of great residential architecture, our bus dropped everyone off at around 5:30pm back at where we started.
If you have missed out on this tour, make sure you stay subscribed to our e-newsletter to be amongst the first to know about such exciting residential bus tours in the new year!
- Article by: Vincent Lam
- Professional architectural photos supplied by the architects, Photos of the tour by Vincent Lam