Just prior to the pandemic, we were approached by our client who envisioned a multi-generational family home, designed to house three generations under the one roof, in Sydney’s inner suburb of Redfern. Having established deep roots within the Redfern community, our clients sought to house seven people – themselves as a couple, their young children, and their parents. A rare find in dense urban Redfern, the site’s frontage spans the width of four inner city terraces, and contains an early nineteenth century heritage listed Georgian cottage.

Our external scheme buffers the home from the stimulus of the surrounding urban environment, creating a familial sanctuary. Wrapped almost completely with Corten steel, the home’s rusted brown panels and mechanically operated screens will enable the occupants to control the openness of the façade to the outside world, while providing a juxtaposition to the existing cottage, which will be revived to its original status.

Entry to the home is made between the old and the new, through a narrow void which carries up to the upper level, ushering light down into the lobby. The interior is intentionally open and transparent, with the central void and stairs shaped to encourage sight lines through the house. Maintaining privacy within bedrooms, a heavy emphasis is placed on communal living. Circulation through the different levels of the house takes you past a series of open spaces, which are left largely unprogrammed. We have suggested these be study spaces and children’s play areas or libraries, however they have the flexibility to change function as the needs of the occupants change with time.

As a visual offering back to the community, the skin of the building will incorporate the artwork of local artist Dr Fiona Foley, to be largely prefabricated off site.

Location RedfernYear In Progress

In the spirit of reconciliation MHNDU acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community.
We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.