House Earlwood, Sydney, NSW

House Earlwood, located in Sydney's inner west has been designed by Architect Eva-Marie Prineas for a Swiss couple with two children. They chose timber for their home for nostalgic reasons as it reflects their childhood memories. 

The timber box is a play on the traditional building methods of the buildings from their childhood memories. The use of traditional shiplap cladding on a contemporary form is a rich juxtaposition - a tactile container for contemporary living - a desire for light / open spaces with a connection to the garden.

The idea of reinterpretation is carried into the existing building, where traditional timber details are treated with a contemporary sensibility - hearths, picture rails or floorboards are painted white or lime washed, they ask for reconsideration, and sit comfortably alongside the contemporary pavilion to the rear.

‘We were interested in the original timber detailing of the existing house. Floorboards were exposed, and a fresh lime wash coat added that has reinterpreted the traditional spaces and transitions into the contemporary additions at the rear.'

The external cladding is certified, recycled spotted gum and ironbark. Certified Tasmanian Oak has been used for the floorboards inside.  Certified Blackbutt for the deck outdoors.

The owners have strived to achieve a continuity and consistency with the extent and detailing of the external timber cladding. The effect is a surprisingly coherent addition with its own integrity and scale. When viewed from the garden, the rear elevation is considered and the materiality of the timber is a beautiful wall to the garden.

The original ornate timber picture rails, architraves and skirtings were restored and painted in the original cottage.

Why did you choose wood?

Wood was chosen for its structural spanning properties and particularly its price competitiveness when compared to corresponding steel sections required. The depth of the beams was incorporated into the design. The contractor appreciated the ease of construction.