A stacked duplex is converted into a single residence within the existing two-storey double-brick envelope. A series of careful cuts to the walls, floor and roof create a continuous flow of spaces from the entry and garden, up a stairwell filled with light from a large skylight above to the living areas on the upper floor, which look out over the landscape.

Each of the seven new openings in the building are treated differently. An expansive clear opening to the rear garden is created by replacing the existing bi-folding timber framing with a single piece of glass that slides out of view on an external steel track. A finely crafted steel staircase winds up through a spacious opening in the floor. A skylight over this void spills light throughout the house. Over the kitchen bench a large fixed glass window brings the nearby trees into the room, while a small square winding casement window over the stove draws fresh air. Finally, the original sunroom has been fitted with a series of mechanical steel pivot windows that dramatically open the corner of the room to the valley of Manly, Sydney Harbour and the Pacific Ocean.

By Toby Breakspear, in collaboration with Tomek Archer, 2013. Photography by Peter Bennetts.