Chain Mail House

A landmark residence on Sydney’s New South Head Road, Chainmail House makes a striking yet refined statement from the streetscape. Bold in its design and materiality selections both externally and internally, the home caters to needs of urban family living while serving as a sampler of the client’s own craftwork in the building industry.

Having relocated to Sydney from Canberra, the clients’ brief was for their new home to evoke an overall experience of spaciousness, as they had enjoyed in their former house. Whilst prioritising a modern design and high-end finishes, the home also had to tick important boxes in terms of its functionality, such as providing ample provision for storage, study areas and multiple living areas.

While the steep nature of the site naturally suggested car parking at the street level, garaging at a lower level of the home became a key design feature which allowed the living and entertainment spaces to have priority at the convenience of street level. From this viewpoint, a box element on the top level shrouded in a chainmail mesh cover forms a glamourising design element of the home, and, at the sides, also dispenses necessary filtered privacy for the master bathroom within. The practical inclusion of vertical concrete columns filters the view from inside while forming a privacy buffer from the busy main road outside, a modernising motif which is repeated internally in strategic areas, such as to the side of the central stair void, spanning two storeys.

Inside, an abundance of filtered light floods the space from multiple directions through strategically placed open spaces, stair voids and skylights. The entry leads to consecutively larger spaces, ending at the open plan living and kitchen space, which is framed by impressive views to the harbour. Clean and minimal surfaces are layered with detailed wall furnishings and joinery, which soften the interior and creates an experiential sense of comfort and relaxation, fitting for a busy family home.

Location Rose BayYear 2020Credits Photography Tom Ferguson

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.