Elliott Ripper House

Oct 2, 2012
  • Article by Online Editor
  • Photography by Brett Boardman
  • Designer Christopher Polly

The Elliott Ripper House in Rozelle, Sydney, presents an appropriately simple and direct extrapolation of an existing archetypal form within a sustainably modest footprint. It provides a significantly expanded series of connected interior volumes that harnesses access to sunlight, ventilation and views of tree canopies and sky beyond, with extension of key existing materials and finishes to retain some memory of its previous incarnation.

An inserted ground floor open living volume is generated by extension of existing envelope lines and internal ceiling and floor levels to an averaged plan footprint of former lean-to’s, followed by a rear first floor addition that extrudes the gable-ended pitched roof form over the new ground floor. Fine steel plate elements contrast rusticated weatherboard cladding and expanses of fixed glass and western red cedar sliding doors & pivot windows offer varying degrees of openness and enclosure.

Opalescent polycarbonate within the new first floor room arrangement reflects & transmits light by day while enabling a lantern-like quality of spaces by night, accentuating the volumetric expansiveness of first floor interior forms. Economical LVL frames a recycled Blackbutt open stair while surrendered floor space offers a generous, carved void and cantilevered balcony that vertically expands the relationship between two previously unrelated floors.

Modern patterns of use are reflected by the provision of two living spaces to enable vital separation of adult and children functions. The rear ground floor volume provides a ‘day’ space for meals preparation, eating and expansive enjoyment of newly proportioned outdoor spaces, while the upper living room provides an ‘evening’ space for watching TV, reading and separation from utilities – with an adaptable third first floor bedroom providing flexibility for future use as a study.

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29 Mar 16 at 5:52 AM • Alex Trodder

I’ve heard that black butt wood has become really popular as a flooring option because it is very durable and also fire resistant. The wood choice goes well with the color selection for the overall home design. The stairs do a good job of tying the two floors together, like you mentioned. Thanks for the design ideas.


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