Cut-away Roof House, a contemporary timber clad 2 storey addition by Scale Architecture

Cut-away Roof House, a contemporary timber clad 2 storey addition by Scale Architecture

Architects: Scale Architecture
Location: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Year: 2015
Photo courtesy: Brett Boardman

“The Cut-away Roof House is an addition to a semi-detached interwar house on Sydney’s lower north shore. Sited in an undulating suburban landscape of tile and tin roofs, the project is a contemporary timber clad 2 storey addition.


The original semi-detached house is left intact while the rear addition comprises an unconventional pitched-roof form. A large section is cut-away from the roof bringing light deep into the house, leaving a simple C-shaped plan with a courtyard in the middle.The living dining and kitchen spaces are arranged around the courtyard on the ground floor, while the bedroom looks over the roof to the garden beyond. The spaces around the courtyard each differ in section and volume. The play on suburban shapes and language creates a spatially diverse array of rooms, each with a different orientation to the courtyard.


The roof and walls are clad entirely with AFS certified north coast mixed hardwood timbers, designed to operate as a ventilated facade with excellent thermal performance.


The carefully designed, light filled spaces provide a backdrop for the lives of the inhabitants. The spatial layout is both efficient and functional, providing a careful balance between communal and private zones.


Responding to the surrounding context of hip and gable roofs, the profile of the addition appears both traditional and contemporary at once. Viewed from any angle it never looks out of place, yet retains its own unique architectural language.


The client’s brief was for an enduring and functional house, compact in plan, but spatially interesting. Our response captures these attributes while making the most of the site’s ideal private, north orientation to the rear. The additional floor area provided much needed functional space for a growing family, without any excess or waste.”

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