Intergenerational Architecture - Woollahra Courtyard House by CO-AP
Project Feature
Woollahra, NSW, Australia

Photography Ross Honeysett
Words Liz Barrett
Courtyard House Resides In A Quiet Street In Woollahra

Nestled in the tranquil leafy streets of the Sydney suburb of Woollahra sits the Courtyard House. Built on the site of a 1970s single-storey dwelling, the new home has been designed for an empty-nester couple, but also needed to accommodate three generations of extended family visitors. Shortlisted for several design awards, the new home is a structural masterpiece.

Architect Will Fung, co-founder of the studio CO-AP, explains that “the architectural concept was clear and strong from the beginning.” The former residence was designed around the courtyard, so this strongly influenced the new home design, so much so that it led to the addition of an internal courtyard, giving the residence the flexibility to open onto several outdoor spaces at once. Cues were also taken from the peaceful surroundings and the neighbouring residences.

Architect Will Fung, Co Founder Of The Studio Co Ap, Explains That The Architectural Concept Was Clear And Stron
Cues for the design came from the original courtyard and leafy surroundings.
Internally, A Remarkable Combination Of Materials Was Chosen. The Co Ap Team Found Themselves Delighted By The C

“The architectural concept was clear and strong from the beginning.”

The Architectural Elements Of The New Building Are Clearly Defined Using Masonry, Concrete And Metal Cladding On
The structure has been specifically designed to allow natural light to penetrate deep into the interior.

The architectural elements of the new building are clearly defined using masonry, concrete and metal cladding on the exterior. A distinctive geometric series of skylights and clerestory windows in the concrete roof are installed over the ground floor, allowing light to penetrate deep into living spaces and internal rooms. Will describes, “the geometry of these punctures follows the form of the upper storey.” These openings not only allow the light in but create intricate focal points throughout the interior.

But Also Needed To Accommodate Three Generations Of Extended Family Visitors.
The cleverly designed openings create flexible living solutions.
Allowing Light To Penetrate Deep Into Living Spaces And Internal Rooms
The skylights are used to create focal points throughout the home.
A Distinctive Geometric Series Of Skylights And Clerestory Windows In The Concrete Roof Are Installed Over The G
The combination of materials creates a harmonious and calming interior space.

Internally, a remarkable combination of materials was chosen. The CO-AP team found themselves delighted by the client’s distinctive selection. “We encouraged the client to discover what they liked, and we took on the challenge to bring these choices together in a cohesive way,” remarks Will. The use of Australian hardwoods for joinery and bedroom floor create a warm and inviting feel. In the bathrooms, a variety of figured stones are naturally lit by skylights and accentuated by playful coloured amenities. The use of horizontal planes of board-form concrete and terrazzo unifies the living spaces. Will continues, “the architecture is strong, and the material palette is rich, yet the outcome is restrained through thoughtful detailing and selection of soft furnishings.”

So Much So That It Led To The Addition Of An Internal Courtyard, Giving The Residence The Flexibility To Open On
The playful contrast of colour on the natural stone in the bathrooms.
The Former Residence Was Designed Around The Courtyard, So This Strongly Influenced The New Home Design
The combined kitchen, living and dining area open to a courtyard on either side.
These Openings Not Only Allow The Light In But Create Intricate Focal Points Throughout The Interior.
Clerestory windows over the rear courtyard capture the sunlight right through the day.

The main home spans over two floors; the space transforms throughout the day with the shifting daylight. Situated in the heart of the home is one of Will’s favourite parts of the project: the serene sculptural painted steel staircase, playfully casting shadows on the floors below. Beneath, the basement level accommodates parking for two cars, a cellar, laundry and abundant storage that connects to the rear lane. Will concludes, “by implementing precise and simple detailing, we revealed the clarity of each palette. This design process has resulted in a fresh and fortuitous outcome.”

“We encouraged the client to discover what they liked, and we took on the challenge to bring these choices together in a cohesive way.”

Punctuated by courtyards and skylights, the architecture frames the inhabitants’ connection with the site, emphasised by the contrast between openings and the weight and presence of the structure. Controlled yet playful, Woollhara Courtyard House delights in detail while crafting a design of expansive vision.

Cues Were Also Taken From The Peaceful Surroundings And The Neighbouring Residences.
The pale green staircase connects each floor of the home.
Built On The Site Of A 1970s Single Storey Dwelling, The New Home Has Been Designed For An Empty Nester Couple
The sculptural soft edges of the painted steel staircase.
Shortlisted For Several Design Awards, The New Home Is A Structural Masterpiece.
Nestled In The Tranquil Leafy Streets Of The Sydney Suburb Of Woollahra Sits The Courtyard House.
Woollahra Courtyard House
Published 25 August, 2019
Photography  Ross Honeysett
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