Balmoral house, sydney, new south wales
This is the second house for the same clients. The ‘test run’ was the Gunyah House in Bundeena. We all survived!
As architects, the Balmoral House became the project you dream about. A better than great client and the chance to design a home as opposed to a ‘beach house’. Not that there’s anything wrong with beach houses!! I tend to not over think design. Architects often try to impress others with their intellectual explorations. I really can’t be bothered with all that. I believe you have to have your client’s best interests at heart. And the secret to this is listening and listening some more and drinking lots of tea.
This client wanted a house that didn’t interfere with simple pleasures and dodgy knees. To be able to exit the car on grade and walk straight into the kitchen. To watch tv in bed. To navigate from the top level to the lower level with the need of a compass or guide. To have friends over and at some stage allow music to be played in an organized way. Simple pleasures anyone could and should have. And so, the house was designed to make those things happen and more. Generous rooms were sculpted in an elegant way to considers views, neighbours, birds, art, landscape, sculpture, light, sound, grandkids and so much more.
It’s still a minor miracle the house got planning approval. That’s a story in itself. But in a blind leap of faith the planner at Mosman Council backed us whole heartedly. Since completion some very strange things have happened. Passers by engage with the house and the garden in a way we never imagined. Some have even penned their thanks to our clients for ‘giving their neighborhood’ such an inspiring house. Our world is so often penetrated with the negative attitudes. Of my own house, more than once people felt obliged to tell me (yell!) that mine was the ugliest house they’d seen. My response to their critiques has only ever been internal and it goes something like this. ‘I wonder what their house is like?’