VISION Issue 16 - Page 24

24 Vision Magazine A weary duplex in Sydney’s sought after Manly had a pair of fine, if severely compromised, structures until their recent rescue. Fusing these early 20th century terraces, architects Toby Breakspear and Tomek Archer performed the complex, highly convincing, renovation. Rather than repeat the makeover as fashionable fit-out, the designers opted for a new structural order to produce a sequence of flowing, interlinked spaces. No mean feat given the difficulty of merging two houses. There is a certain bravado and skill required to transcend the populist ‘Fs’ of fixtures, fittings and furnishings. This superficial idea of luxury shouldn’t be confused with the supple muscularity of high-end architecture. Directing funds towards major incisions and cut-outs was the equivalent of heart surgery and facelift rather than cosmetics alone. Connected by a common wall, and functioning as two separate houses, Breakspear and Archer have created a strong, unified identity. While the old provides a backbone of pleasing solidity and decoration, the new contrasts slenderness to facilitate the circulation of sunlight, air and most significantly, people. Precisely punched holes penetrate the envelope. These aren’t the random variety, but carefully targeted from the north-facing skylight to the L-shaped upper window band that steers views right across Manly to the Pacific Ocean. The feel of the new is one of special precision, from the folded steel staircase to the black-steelframed glazing rebated into the brickwork. Fully function driven, windows and doors contribute to a far more dynamic operability. These slide, pivot and angle like yacht sails for finely tuned performance of sunlight and breeze. Engineered, motorised windows using Viridian ComfortPlusTM create a seamless modernity with the old. Daylight Saving