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Family Home: Allambie Heights


Design and build a family home that encompassed all bedrooms, study, kitchen and main living on a single level with a large garage and rumpus on the lower level. Given the east/west orientation of this block, we had the challenge of capturing the north sunlight into the home from the side whilst working to a strict budget.


Unique Aspects

  • Sloping block – 3m from rear to front
  • Elevated location on a busy through street
  • Retention of existing stone walls and garden beds
  • Make use of sun-filled front garden by fencing in off the lower level rumpus room


The familiar story of weighing up whether to renovate or knockdown/rebuild applied to this project. The existing home had damp issues, only a small door out to the rear yard, zero connection to the large front yard and a lower level single garage that often had water trickling through it. The for and against comparison was conducted with the knockdown/rebuild being the end result.

Adam and Kim were surprised by the first concept we put forward that had the kitchen in the centre of the home with no direct windows. They did remain open minded and happy for the reasoning to be explained:

  • Maximising opportunity for windows for the northern facade to capture and harness natural light
  • Created a space for a huge walk-in pantry and linen that also created separation between bedrooms and living spaces.
  • Direct flow through living spaces from front to rear
  • Kitchen ventilated and bathed in glorious natural sunlight from highlight windows

After some time to digest these concepts, Adam and Kim were excited to proceed with our plans. The end result is a beautiful, light-filled home for them to raise their young family.

One of the biggest differences with this new house is the increased natural airflow compared to the original house. This comes from particular attention being given to the style and placement of windows. An example is the openable highlight window above the entry door which created a direct flow up the stairs and through the kitchen.

A less obvious reason is the siting of the home. We lifted the new home by 400mm to run level off the rear yard. This helped to capture more natural breeze and also changed the front outlook from a street view to more trees and greenery. Often it’s a combination of these subtle design elements that have the greatest impact.

The home was constructed over 7 months from demolition to completion. We handled all aspects fo the build, right through to landscaping of yards, installing the letterbox and the hanging of curtains. This meant that Adam and Kim, along with their family, simply moved their belongings back into a completely finished home.