The original 1860’s home at Trouton St sits modestly on its block. Humble and unassuming, its appearance defines its cultural significance; the workers cottage preserves a ‘moment’ in the rich, blue-collar heritage and character of Balmain. Preserving and restoring the integrity of the existing cottage as part of the streetscape and the eclectic, urban fabric of Balmain was always fundamental to the design. Any addition needed to be sympathetic, sensitively yet distinctively bridging the divide between new and old.
The new building is light, bright and contrasts spatially with the low, intimate spaces of the existing house. In the chasm between the two, new and the old are united through a light connection, a transitional space at the focal point of the home. Operating as an interface between the interior and exterior condition, the rear façade is a playful composition of strong, off-form concrete elements which mediate the light from the east and west, and striking, fixed marble louvres that filter and attenuate northern light. The marble louvres- cream at noon- glow iridescent blue in the evening as the sun sets, and cause dynamic bands of shade to play over the interior walls during the day.