Surry Hills, Sydney
2 bedroom, 2 bathroom
Katherine Lu

Nestled in Surry Hills, Up-Down House is an inner-city oasis to rest, work and play.

The clients wanted to transform their dark, cold, 4-metre-wide terrace into a light, spacious and adaptable home. Their brief was for two bedrooms and two workspaces, and various places to relax or host guests, including a sunken lounge.

We navigated the challenges of the site – shared boundaries, limited privacy and restricted sunlight – to enhance the sense of space beyond the physical boundaries of the terrace. The stepped floor follows the fall of the land to ground the house and increase the volume of the living room at the rear. Skylights and voids bring light deep into the floor plan, connecting the two levels and framing views of the treetops and sky.

The front dining room and vaulted hallways nod to the era of the Victorian terrace and are thresholds between the street and private spaces. Concrete floors and steps flow seamlessly through the kitchen and living area and form the base of the staircase, which integrates and rises over the benchtop. Natural and coloured finishes and sculptural elements reflect the clients’ creativity and provide richness, playfulness and visual impact.