Sam Crawford Architects

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Sam Crawford Architects
Level 2 17 Federation Road NEWTOWN NSW 2042 Australia

We believe that successful buildings, whether large or small, are designed to enrich people’s lives and the quality of their environment. Established in 1999, Sam Crawford Architects is a young, innovative, design-driven practice, focused on residential and public projects in and around Sydney. We have extensive experience in heritage conservation, interior and furniture design, and have recently undertaken a number of public and community projects. We approach each brief, each client and each site as a unique opportunity. We provide a complete architectural service, from design concept, to council approval, detailed design and documentation, contract administration, and project management.

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Newtown Terrace

Newtown, NSW, 2009

In this century, more than any preceding it, we must recognise the potential of the resources already expended in our built environment. This project is part retread, part replacement. Functional parts are reworked, others replaced. The whole retained, enhanced and given another life. Our clients asked for honest expression of materials, light, and functionality. The result is a robust construction. A single sculptural staircase weaves together the three levels, from a heavy concrete base to a luminous platform of steel and glass. Aside from a single glass sheet that replaces the original tiled front porch; the building skin and its relationship to the street and rear lane, remain. Detailing and material expression is direct, new and old clear. Aside from the front portion of the basement, which is hollowed out for the kitchen, all rooms are left intact. The 19th century terrace and later useful interventions remain. In order to suit the living patterns of a young family with two small children, the lower level is now a light, open, continuous living platform. Utilities are set to one side and sheathed in glass. Raw concrete/ timber/ steel and glass provide a distinct feel to each level. Bespoke black steel hardware, door jambs, stair treads, and handrails clearly evidence their on-site fabrication. Hardwood joists from the existing terrace are reused in new joinery.

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Bundeena Beach House

Bundeena, NSW, 2004

The house is sited on the dune fronting Horderns Beach, at Bundeena, on the northern edge of the Royal National Park, on Sydney’s southern edge. It is a fragile place, commanding a particular sensitivity from an architect. The house is raised off the ground, set on steel posts driven into the dune, braced against a north-easterly sea swell that can, at times, send a surge of energy through the dune and into the building fabric. Thus, the house is designed to be both strong, and flexible – built of a composite steel/ timber frame, clad in rough sawn plywood and corrugated iron. Each room provides a framework for a different set of experiences. The living rooms are positioned on the dune ridge to make the most of the stunning view. On the beach side a breezeway room sits protected from the morning glare of the water by operable timber louvred walls – and on the bush side, an open deck sits protected from a sometimes bracing breeze. The main bedroom is perched above the living rooms, well back from the beach for privacy, commanding 360 degree views, of the beach, the bay, the bush and the hamlet of Bundeena. Another bedroom and an office on the ground floor are accessed via an open, roofed timber walkway – gently forcing visitors and occupants to experi

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Substation House

Paddingtion, 2002

The shell of a disused electrical substation on a 100sqm site was the catalyst for an exploration of space/ void and materiality, designed in association with fellow Sydney University graduate Emili Fox. The 2003 RAIA Awards jury commented as follows: It is a highly inventive example of how to insert a progressive piece of domestic architecture into a heritage listed site. The substation’s front wall, its public face has been left untouched. It is separated from the new house by a walled courtyard, where a trench which once housed electrical cables has been converted into a fishpond. Another original deep trench cutting a swathe through the ground floor, open plan living area is used as a wine cellar and storage area. The living area opens widely both to the front courtyard and a small garden area at the rear, featuring a tiled wall a cascading water. The living area is connected to three bedrooms and bathrooms on the upper two levels by a stairway of timber treads and decking, which is crowned by a dramatic curved ceiling featuring a light slot. In keeping with the industrial heritage of the substation, the house incorporates a palette of robust no-nonsense materials: concrete walls and floors, exposed steel, rendered brick, zinc roofing and recycled timbers.


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