The design of the studio at the back of a cottage in Balmain has been finalised and lodged to council. The design provides our clients with more versatile options for their future living arrangements and those of their adult children.

The brief was to replace the existing carport with a new studio containing a place for living, sleeping and entertaining, as well as a new enclosed garage and workshop. The design had to maintain privacy from the existing house but have a sense of space and enjoyment within itself. We aimed to achieve this by carefully considered window design that catches all the ideal sunlight & air-flow while maintaining visual privacy, highly efficient space planning built out of beautifully crafted timber joinery, and a plan centred around one large double-height space to give a sense of spaciousness within essentially a very small floor area.

The wall facing the house is also designed so that vines grow up it over time therefore blending it into the existing vegetation. It will be more like a green wall than a building.

Arriving from the street and through a screened entry-way, one enters the house. A sleeping loft floats to the right. One then descends stairs into a double-height living space with exposed structure, excellent lighting and views to vegetation & ocean beyond. There is unexpected in-built storage throughout and a very efficient kitchenette/eating area & bathing room.

To maximise available space we have doubled-up functions wherever possible, such as floor extending across to become table, stairs having storage joinery tucked underneath, and ventilation panels in the walls. Through the design of our joinery this efficiency is both practical and a design feature.









1319_05_Elevation South
1319_06_Elevation North
Above – selected and simplified plan, section & elevation drawings of the design.


Above – working models built throughout the design process.