Built by Michael Kassis of Hamik Luxury Homes www.hamik.com.au
The owners of this house named it “Belvedere”- Italian for “Beautiful View”. At the completion of this project, we overheard the builders talking to each other while surveying their work; “I feel so sorry for the neighbours across the street. They have to look at this house every day knowing that their house pales in comparison”. We have since joked that the neighbours should have called their houses “Belvedere”.
This was a new house on a new land release in Sydney’s north west. The corner site required that the two facades needed to address the street, but at the same time, provide privacy from the street. We used wide eaves, verandahs, landscape terracing and strategically placed windows to create the privacy. We also realised that these windows will require curtains or blinds for extra privacy and so designed cornices as pelmets to allow for hidden curtain rails.
The client wanted to incorporate the rich textures of sandstone and timber against simple maintenance-free facebrick. We took advantage of this for the main street facade. The effect of a triple garage was reduced by stepping one garage door back, with a prominent window above, and by showcasing the entrance in a sandstone frame, with the timber of the garage door combined with cladding that draws the visitor around the corner and in to the entrance.
The windows on the upper floor retain privacy from the street by nestling under an exaggerated eave, with angled piers.
The clients required a neutral backdrop for their mixed styles of furniture collected over years of living in many different countries. We chose spotted gum, with a strong variation in the grain, for the flooring, so that it would blend with a variety of timbers in the furniture throughout the house. We kept the house simple and open plan, creating alcoves, feature walls and screens to define the spaces. We added interest to the spaces via the variations in the ceiling heights, adding bulkheads, concealed lighting, raked ceilings and skylights, which kept the floor area simple.
It helped that the builder had a good design eye and great attention to detail. He anticipated the final result, and the process to ensure that the integrity of design remained throughout the project. Although we detailed the house before construction began, we worked closely with the builder throughout the construction of the house, which was a great contributing factor to the final result.