Behind the traditional façade of this Surry Hills terrace house hides a delightful surprise; an unexpected and stunning contemporary mix of clean lines, expansive planes and bold contrasts of colour and materials with which the owners – and their guests – are positively smitten. The success of the project, according to Luis Gomes Siu of Ecke Architecture, comes down to one core component: an obsession with detail, detail and more detail.
“The approach to the design,” he says, “was that everything can be tucked behind doors in a very seamless way. This is a very small project but it’s very detailed. Every single corner has been executed the way I wanted it.”
The main feature of the dwelling is a sandstone wall that runs from the façade to the back of the house. “I love the combination between the doors and the wall. I think that the wall feels longer than it is because it’s uninterrupted and when the doors are in the open position they basically disappear because the tracks on the ceiling are flush, the tracks on the floor are flush and there’s no visible frame.”
Luis was determined to ensure every aspect of the project was executed with absolute precision. The frame of the back door needed to align neatly with a tiny gap between the tiles. However, a traditional frame, although necessary to ensure watertightness, would interfere with the aesthetic. In consultation with window-and-door fabricator, Midcoast Windows, Luis came up with a novel solution: the installation of an AWS Series 618 cavity door with a rubber seal in place of a frame. The result is a watertight barrier that shepherds any water straight down into a sunken drain tray while simultaneously creating a seamless connection between the interior of the dwelling and the back yard.
“The reason I chose AWS products was because of the technical support and customer service,” says Luis. “If I didn’t have someone from the company coming to my office and talking to me face to face about all the systems available and what they have experienced in the past with other projects, I would probably have spent a lot of time having to research. Knowing if that seal was going to work or not is what made the difference to me.”
Fabricator: Midcoast Windows
Architect: Luis Gomes Siu of Ecke Architecture