Breathe Architecture does a really good job with the Double Life House project located on a street in Surry Hills, all tucked right in a double-storey row of Victorian terraces. When you look at the building that is a hundred years old, you do not really know what to expect. After the door is opened, you quickly realize how beautiful the double life home is.
The home is designed for 2 people that are self-proclaimed introverts. The space was considered, together with its sonic qualities, in order to create a serene and calm home, a wonderful place where someone could retreat. Daniel McKenna and Jeremy McLeod did this through a process said as “softening the outside world”. You enter into a black joinery library. Right behind bookshelves, you find a huge entertainment room that is concealed by pivoting artwork, practically an inner lair for the true introvert.
The footprint is small and after the renovation, there were different restorative spaces created, most of them being concealed. The special plan of the house is following key moments, making everything really interesting.
Basically, a sense of protection was introduced. Besides it, there was also a connection done with the outside world. We are faced with a narrow home that was opened towards a north-facing courtyard with the purpose of welcoming natural light.
When looking at materials, this is a building that remains completely true to the identity of its 100 years history. The architects made sure that the entire process exposed existing building fabric layers. The Double Life House is basically building more with the use of less and tries to introduce just low embodied energy, all through locally sourced and recycled materials.
Photographs: Katherine Lu