Cooks River House is a secluded family home within a lush natural landscape in Sydney’s inner west. A single-storey bungalow with an unsympathetic later addition previously occupied this sloping site, facing the Cooks River. The overgrown site had a wild, natural feel which Studio Plus Three clients saw as an adventure-filled place to raise their young family.
Key intentions were to improve the connection to the natural beauty of the site by creating a house that feels far removed from the city, responding to views, topography, and light.
The house overlooks the Cooks River and its surrounding parkland, the changing nature of this urban landscape is mirrored in the approach to this site by creating a low maintenance garden with minimal water needs, and paring back plant cover to reveal the natural rocky escarpments.
Set back above the foreshore reserve and secluded by lush foliage, the durable timber facade of the house will weather and grey naturally over time in affinity with the surrounding landscape. Spotted Gum flooring and joinery knit together old and new parts of the house, giving the interior palette a similar natural quality. Looking out over the garden, first floor rooms predominantly face north, with openings sheltered by external venetian blinds allowing fine control of light and breezes, housed within deep reveals of the facade. Sustainable strategies such as passive heating and shading, high levels of insulation, storm-water collection and rainwater recycling all reduce the environmental impact of this riverfront home.