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Lysaght

17 / October / 2019
NSW

Following several cold winters, the young owners of a partially completed project home that had stood unchanged on the eastern spur of Linden in the lower Blue Mountains since 2003, decided it was time to renovate.

Their original plans involved maintaining the house’s two existing pavilions (one for guest accommodation and the other for ancillary spaces) and creating a new dwelling to the east, which would not only increase their floor space but also capture views of the surrounding bushland and of the city of Sydney to the east.

However, architect Alexander Symes proposed an alternative. Beginning from the principles of respecting the bushland and re-using as much of the existing structure as possible to, he suggested a re-interpretation of the house’s original design.

The owners agreed and today ‘L House’ features a north-eastern pavilion for the parents, flowing to a new central family pavilion and then onto the existing east-west pavilion, which now houses the children’s area, an office and ancillary spaces.

This consolidation of the built form creates a single eastern elevation and delivers sweeping views to the city skyline from multiple living spaces, as well as a new western entry to the property.

The most striking exterior feature of the house is LYSAGHT LONGLINE 305® cladding, which features on both the walls and the roof. Indeed, given its window-to-wall ratio (particularly on its western side), L House could be described as a celebration of ZINCALUME® steel.

The material ensures the house meets its eco-friendly brief. While in some senses it contrasts with the surrounding fauna, in other ways simplicity and rhythm of ZINCALUME® steel become the perfect match for the eucalyptus bushland. On approach, the shimmering material reflects the day’s changing colours.

There was another key factor behind the architect’s choice of LYSAGHT LONGLINE 305® cladding in ZINCALUME® steel, namely fire prevention. L House’s bushland setting meant its external envelope had to be robust and non-combustible. It needed to meet the highest level of bushfire protection construction, as set out in the original 2003 Development Application.

This robust external envelope of fire-resistant ZINCALUME® steel along with other fire resistant elements such as bushfire rated hardwood and BAL 40 rated windows ensure that the house is well suited to its bushland setting while also achieving a solid NatHERS (Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme) rating of 7.6 stars.

Combined with a new 1.8m tall fence made from COLORBOND® steel, which surrounds the house and acts as a radiant heat shield, the LYSAGHT LONGLINE 305® cladding in ZINCALUME® steel helps ensure that L House is not just a functional dwelling for a young family, but also a safe one.

NSW