Silver Back House / Studio GSBN
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Manufacturers: Astra Walker, Enzie, Heka Balaclavas, Lysaght, New Age Veneers, Nicco wooden windows and doors, Preferred flooring, skylight
Robert Scarfone, Alessandro Belgiorno-Nettis, Lauren Chiefari, Stephanie Cheng
Text description provided by the architects. A two-story terraced house addition sought to transform something familiar into a captivating architectural hybrid. An unsuspecting terraced house presents itself to the street, while a shiny silver volume plays hide and seek with the rear track: Silver Back. Designed for a young family to grow into, Silver Back is a peaceful haven in the bustling suburb of Marrickville.
Inspired by the raw, tactical nature of the materials on display, Silver Back celebrates a functional approach to design. Reminiscent of rural Australian architecture, the addition is entirely clad in corrugated iron. Unlike its neighbors, the new metal box hides a warm, open interior with a spiral staircase that sews the old with the new. Subtle curves from the spiral form a new entry procession that weaves its way between the courtyard and the bathroom before entering the combined kitchen and dining room. Warm boxwood joinery flanks both sides of the space with concrete flooring laid to meet the porous cobblestones outside.
Upstairs, the curves continue around a built-in bath and into the master bedroom. With the natural hues of the tiles, millwork and sisal flooring, the softness of the interior juxtaposes the otherwise hard and protective exterior cladding. Playful volumes jut out and perforate the metal facade to break up the uniformity of the corrugated cladding, creating privacy through pockets of greenery. The articulation of the facade enlivens both interior spaces and exterior views of the streetscape.
Silver Back is a curious piece of architecture that has brought a new spirit to the dominant typology of alleyways. It shows how simple interventions can transform existing structures to meet the ever-changing needs of new occupants. Strategic moves in form and materiality work together to create an inspired home for family and community.