Cooper St, Surry Hills – Skylight & Garage
Renovating a heritage structure can often present unique challenges. When the project is a residential warehouse conversion located in a densely populated location, clever design is essential.
This interesting project combined two unique design elements developed by Tilt – an architectural skylight and a counterbalanced garage door.
The creative owner/builder of this property, EB Construction, wanted to make the most of the site from both a design and commercial perspective. The vision was to retain the heritage feel of the home at the front and incorporate a modern approach inside for balance. Located in a built-up area there was no scope for extension, however Sydney’s city skyline beckoned from the rooftop. To leverage this opportunity to create value-add for a future sale, a rooftop living space was created to expand the property’s habitable area and offer unrivalled views.
The skylight design was an iteration of a previous concept developed by Tilt, the length of the skylight ensured enough headroom for compliance and the opportunity to utilise a standard architectural staircase. Its overall dimensions were engineered specifically to fit in with the existing building structure. With its brushed and polished stainless-steel features, the skylight was chosen to complement the high-end aesthetic envisioned for the project.
Integrating these impressively sized skylights into a tight site poses several challenges, particularly around access for installation. Co-ordinating our crane lifts with others to ensure maximum cost-effectiveness for our client is always a consideration for a project of this nature. The installation methodology is always critical, and on this project the Tilt team worked closely with the architects – Downie North – and EB Construction to ensure a smooth and efficient install.
Other installation considerations include structural connections with the variety of building materials of a property (whether that be concrete, brick or timber) and integration with the staircase detail and stepover details to provide functionality that is both seamless and compliant with standards.
The property’s unique garage presented three key challenges to the project – low headroom within the garage space, a restriction on elements protruding into the rear laneway space, and a pre-determined opening that is irregular in shape, making a proprietary product unsuitable.
A standard garage door would have taken up valuable headroom precluding any larger SUVs from fitting in the space, so the design brief was to maximise headroom and allow high-height vehicles to park.
The design intent is to showcase the garage door as a continuous form of the façade and create a beautiful exterior to discourage graffiti and contrast the heritage surrounds. Its seamless and custom perforated panel design camouflages joins in the panels and allows a homogenous visual effect across the background. Inside, the counterbalancing mechanism is exposed, encased behind a clear acrylic panel, tying into the overarching aesthetic, which combines heritage structures with contemporary high-tech materials.
Although often desired in densely populated areas, a garage is a challenging space for a developer to create a value add. With this design, the garage space is highly functional and serves as an extension of the refined aesthetic within the home.
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