Dent Street Double | Curious Practice

Dent Street Double is a set of mirrored townhouses in the popular beachside suburb of Merewether where this typology of densification is tried and tested en masse—with little success. For our buildings with long, narrow sites oriented north toward the street, an interesting challenge emerged: organising the plan to create equally comfortable, light-filled spaces for daily coastal living in each dwelling.

A low-pitched gable roof stretches out toward the street, a gesture of protection and a reference to original weatherboard cottages of the area. Ground floor organisation provides access around each building, bringing a practical consideration of living patterns like coming home from the beach or shopping, doing the washing, relaxing on a weekend with family or finding a comfortable place to read. Overall, the strategy to produce two simple dwellings that had good amenity, were friendly to neighbours and supported a lifestyle congruent to place was successful.

Maggie Street |Curious Practice

Maggie Street reinterprets and respects the amenity, heritage and character of the surrounding suburb, but while neighbours inhabit as single dwellings on large lots, Maggie Street manages a fraternal quadruplet of generous two-storey townhouses. Flexibility in the planning of each unit can allow for any number of occupant requirements, from a growing family, home office or just having room to have the grandchildren stay.

Materials have been chosen for their practicality, durability and texture—changing with shifting shadows and development of patina over time. The red cement-bonded particle board and zincalume claddings bring both familiarity and vitality to the development, and with lawn removed from the site, an all native landscape plan brings biodiversity back to help repair the site post-construction.

Increasing density, reducing sprawl and fostering a sense of community between occupants are becoming the new standards for developments people actually want to live in—not just buy.

Princes Studio | Curious Practice

Made for a family of 5 crammed into a small, three-bedroomed-single-bathroomed cottage—who were in need of some relief— Princes Studio is a detached living pavilion.

Timber provides the spaces of this project with a feeling of warmth and beauty. With fixings and structure exposed and celebrated, there exists an honesty in the making process that carries through to the completed building down to the locally made blacksmith’s brass componentry. A custom translucent cladding system was developed which sits adjacent timber windows and terracotta tiles, creating a rich tapestry of texture and transparency.

Princes Studio is an extremely cost effective appendage to the existing dwelling, providing the inhabitants freedom in how they use the space now, and into the future. This outcome could be further developed as a quality response to housing affordability, adaptability and sustainability, having achieved a huge amount of program and delight within a very small floor area.

Huntington | SJB

Running parallel to the Hunter River, Huntington at 35 Honeysuckle Drive is a key node in the Newcastle Honeysuckle Precinct urban renewal corridor, evolving the foreshore into a highly connected, mixed-use precinct. Poised to play an important role in enlivening the precinct this new residential development introduces significant retail to the ground plane and 90 apartments above, across two buildings.

The success of the Honeysuckle precinct is intrinsically linked to the connectivity between the city and the water’s edge and its activation. Huntington stitches the old town at the south to the foreshore boulevard through permeability and the introduction of protected, north-facing retail spaces. The material palette also speaks to the site’s differing conditions, with a playful brick façade facing Honeysuckle Drive which opens to the north to capture views and light and reflect the palette of industry across the river.

QT Hotel Newcastle | SJB

Situated in the former Scotts building and Mitchell & Co. warehouse, the design for the QT Newcastle has carefully restored the original heritage façade, maintaining the finely detailed feature elements and the art deco clock face on the corner of Hunter Street and Perkins. Internally, the existing floorplates have been carefully lifted and lowered to realign with the original levels to match the existing façade openings.

A new addition has been added above the existing façade, respectfully stepping back to ensure the integrity and grandeur of the heritage corner remains. The new rear lane addition creates an entrance to the signature restaurant, Jana, and provides activation via a laneway on the southern side of the building.

The new hotel provides a sensitive adaptation of a prominent Newcastle landmark, reinforcing the town centre’s unique character.

Watt St Commercial | CKDS Architecture

The Watt Street Commercial Project transforms the former Watt Street Arc theatre into three levels of A-Grade office space connected by an open atrium stair. This addition seamlessly integrates contemporary, light-filled commercial areas while respecting Lawrence Nield’s original award-winning design. Vertical louvres encase a newly proposed glazed box hovering above the office entry to Watt Street. Originally designed as a tiered internalized theatre space, the shift to commercial use necessitated an increased emphasis on natural light and amenity, serving as a driving force behind the design concept.The alterations and additions to the existing structure stand as a pivotal element within an upscale commercial complex in Newcastle’s vibrant East End.

Killcare House | Southmarc Architecture

The only sustainable solution is to renovate.
The original house was constructed 50 years ago on the edge of the Bouddi National Park.
Now it is wrapped with insulation, powered by 10KW of Solar panels (car, cooking, heating and cooling), is doubled glazed and protected from bushfires.
All new work is made from concrete.
Sustainable engineered timber is throughout the interior : on floors, benches, hook rails and dining table. All custom designed to suit the space.
The architectural expression is playful. Internally two red steel portal frames mark the threshold of the Bushfire Flame Zone.
Light penetrates deeply with the use of Danpalon translucent polycarbonate. It surrounds the ensuite and forms the balustrade.
The new native filled garden attracts biodiverse native species: wallabies, a goanna, turkeys and native birds.
This was an old house, that has evolved to become electric. Conservation is no longer optional – it is essential.

Parry St, Newcastle | Southmarc Architecture

Designed by BKA Architecture to serve as the head office for an accountancy practice is the commercial development at 130 Parry Street, Newcastle West. The four-level building consists of a concrete frame with concrete “cores” providing bracing at stairs and lifts, expressed on the external façade with off form finish and wire framing to eventually provide “green walls” from planters at ground level. A detailed custom design fitout on Level 3 for the accountancy firm created spaces that enhance productivity, new ways of working principles and prioritising sustainability. From concept to construction detailing, the building employed green design principles, featuring green walls, vertical sun-shading to protect the extensive glazing on the eastern and western facades, an ‘A-Grade’ warm shell internal fit-out to remaining floor levels (in line with property council guidelines), and stormwater retention.

Gymea Beach House | True North Architects

The design is inspired by the Gymea Lilies in the National Park behind the site – the house reaching upward and outward to the light and views of Fingal Bay. The stepped floor levels maximise space on the upper storey through the use of large cantilevers, creating an organic and dynamic design. A balance is achieved for a potentially top-heavy home on a very modest plinth. Bush views looking back up the hillside can be enjoyed whilst expansive views of Fingal Bay are ever-present. Wide eaves and the stepped floor plans provide protection for the building on each level. The narrow upper floor makes for excellent cross-ventilation and large areas of performance glazing mitigate heat-loss. Thermal Mass is employed in the lower two levels to assist in regulating temperatures within the home. Winter sun is tangibly extended to upper living areas before it is lost to the shadow of the hillside.

Karen’s Place | Studio Dot

‘Karen’s Place’ is a project born from the client’s desire to leave a legacy for her children. In its more recent years, the circa 1885-1886 terrace endured an earthquake, a rebuild and the raising of two young boys. With her sons now adults, the client sought to remove the existing rear two-storey wing which, due to a poorly executed reconstruction after the 1989 earthquake, was damp, dark, mouldy and in need of light and ventilation. The new addition constructed on the same footprint reused 10,000 salvaged bricks (from demolition) and afforded the client a new kitchen, dining space, bedroom and bathroom/laundry. An additional outdoor bathroom and storage space services sandy family and friends returning from the beach. A strong connection to garden spaces has been established and thermal mass, highly insulated building envelope and double-glazed timber windows create a comfortable and healthy space for the client to enjoy.

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