Stanmore Inner West Terrace House

Stanmore Inner West Terrace House

a Victorian terrace provides a quiet retreat in an urban setting


Artist and single working mum Monica, along with her children Benjamin and Brigitta, sought solutions to a number of problems with their family home. Their house is one of many grand Victorian terraces in the inner west but unfortunately is right next to the rail line and under the main flight path. Adding to the obvious noise issues, the site suffered from a complete lack of northern sun. In addition to alleviating these problems, the family’s brief also including making their home as environmentally responsible as possible and providing for an extra income through the insertion of another dwelling at the rear of the property.

In addressing these concerns, PWA carefully selected and specified products and construction materials used in the project, as well as designing the built form of the house to respond to environmental factors.

A central courtyard provides access to the new rear dwelling (with no rear lane), but is carefully sculpted to maintain a degree of visual privacy. The courtyard assists in breaking the house into a series of connected bays, allowing winter sun inside the living spaces. An interior atrium assists in this process, also giving the building enhanced cross ventilation.

Traditional colours were used in a vibrant way to subtly differentiate the various elements of the home. The restoration process of the existing building was subtle but concise, referencing the period of its initial design but not conflicting with the introduced elements. Modern products used for noise insulation, such Wavebar acoustic sheeting and double glazing, are blended seamlessly with the home’s original features.

PWA recommended the use of Photovoltaic cells on the roof for green energy production, heat exchange pumps for low energy water heating and specified many timber products or those with low VOC content for use in construction. Large vegetable patches were introduced throughout the gardens for responsible food production (and fun for the kids).

The new home encapsulates a dynamic but also peaceful sanctum within the surrounds of the urban Sydney environment.