Chandos Street - Crows Nest
Finding an architect prepared to take on the design of an "ordinary" semi is not easy.
The brief was to renovate and redesign the layout of the semi to make better use of the available space including enlarging the kitchen to make it functional as well as ensuring as much natural light as possible.
Adam and his team at All Australian Architecture didn't just come up with the "ordinary" semi renovation, they carefully considered the orientation of the house and how best to take advantage of natural light. The innovative design that retained the character of the front of the house incorporated a roof that sloped down to the south-east wall from the peak on the north-west side of the house, following the line of the pitched roof at the front of the house. This enabled Adam's design to incorporate high windows on the north-west wall to capture natural light into the currently dark back of the house.
While I loved the design my joined neighbour was not as happy and couldn't understand why I didn't just do the same as her. Unfortunately, North Sydney Council took the view that the impact of the shadow that would be cast by the design would have a significant impact on my neighbour. As a result, they approved the development subject to a condition that required the peak of last four metres of the roof to be set back a further 1.5m from the side wall.
Having fallen in love with the simple lines of Adam's design I didn't want to change it when the change would not produce any real benefit to the neighbour, so with the support of Adam and the team I decided to appeal to the Land and Environment Court against the condition imposed by North Sydney Council. The preparation for the hearing put in by Adam and the team was superb; they were ready for anything that was thrown their way. After much discussion throughout the morning of the hearing in relation to the shadow impact the design would have on the neighbour, Adam was quickly able to hand draft some shadow diagrams in the lunch break that showed that the modification proposed by council would have no impact on the shadow cast by the design but it was actually the part of the roof that they had not modified that was causing the shadow that they were concerned about. In fact, even if we had proposed what the same design as the neighbour it would have had a very similar shadow impact as our proposed design!
It was the quick thinking of Adam and the team and those hand drafted diagrams that saved the day and enabled the court to rule in my favour. So of course I would have no hesitation in recommending having Adam and the team in your corner if you need to take on a council who doesn't understand good architectural design when they see it!