Balmain Rock excels for its human scale, and for the warmth and tactile qualities that Benn + Penna Architecture has added to the tiny 1860s sandstone cottage.
The additions have been carved off an archetypical gabled shelter volume; light wells and balconies have been sculpted off the solid mass to great effect. The light is soft, and the juxtaposition of new and old materials is magical, paired with the warmth of the old sandstone and sandstock bricks and the robust slate floor and concrete.
What is most satisfying is the respect that the additions offer to the original cottage. The new living spaces seem to gaze admiringly toward the old stones and intimate sharing of everyday living occurs around the linking courtyard. There is intergenerational admiration between the cottage and its offspring.
The skill, balance and solidity of this project will guarantee an enduring life for this renewed house.
Balmain Rock is an alterations & additions to an 1860’s built sandstone cottage in the historical precinct of Balmain East. The cottage was stripped of unsympathetic lean to additions and, a new concrete pavilion is built to the rear containing new kitchen/ dining space, as well as bedrooms and bathrooms.