Armature for a Window

Terrific house … Lean and soft. The infinite moods and variations of the Sydney terrace.

Elizabeth Farrelly

Armature for a Window was a first house for us in so many ways. It was the first house we owned together. It was the first house we designed together. It was the first house we built together. It was the first house we lived in together. And it was the first project of our practice. In this sense, it forged our understanding of stewardship, of architecture, of construction, of habitation, of practice, and most fundamentally, of our relationship.

In the front room of our semi was a small, counterweighted sash window, for a while it was the only source of natural light in our living space. By this window we sat for many months talking, sketching and planning and as we talked and sketched and planned our small window took on mythical proportions. The action and detail became synonymous with light and air and as our affection developed these familiar features were manipulated and became the window to our garden, the house little more than an armature.

The structure is like those sandstone escarpments on the water, what we imagine as the first of Sydney’s houses. The outside all rough and making evident the passing of wind, rain and time, while the inside is smooth and polished and offering sanctuary.

Though of course, the house also facilitates a manner of living, providing a place for solitude and reflection, the efficient and natural merging of work and leisure, a mechanism to live an experimental life, and an essential life, after Cicero;

If you have a garden and a library, you have all you need.