Recycled brick expresses an unexpected quiet domestic ease in inner-city Wollongong

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02 July 2023

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5 min read

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All project photography by Tim Shaw
Manhattan on Belmore is a family home forged from robust raw materials, textures and colours within the vivacity of the city.
A warm and welcoming entrance.
A warm and welcoming entrance.
The recycled brickwork blends in with its neighbours.
The recycled brickwork blends in with its neighbours.
The home needed to be low impact, not tall and imposing. It didn’t need to stand out; it needed to blend in with the city and the people.
Materiality adds interest to the interior.
Materiality adds interest to the interior.
The light-coloured recycled brick finish blends the house into its urban surroundings.
The light-coloured recycled brick finish blends the house into its urban surroundings.

An emphasis on privacy and security

Timber warms and softens the strong lines of the facade.
Timber warms and softens the strong lines of the facade.
A welcoming yard.
A welcoming yard.
A second living provides additional space and storage.
Skylights act as windows to the city skyline.
The ceiling draws the eye up towards the mezzanine.
Polished concrete floors balance the warm timber ceiling.

Built to withstand city and salt

Built to withstand city and salt.
Built to withstand city and salt.
Tasmanian wood lines the raked ceilings.
Tasmanian wood lines the raked ceilings.
Illuminated by skylights.
Illuminated by skylights.

A contrast of serenity and city hustle

There is a stillness to the interior space as the afternoon sun streams through the expanse of south-facing windows; the city views through the vast glazing feel like artistic representations adorning the walls, as the interior is surely too serene for the cityscape to be authentic.

Polished concrete flooring throughout provides thermal mass and sustainability, with recycled brickwork featured in select areas, offering unification to the surrounding urban setting. Tasmanian wood lines the raked ceilings, adding warmth and further interest to the interior's muted palette, while the mezzanine illuminates from a multitude of skylights acting as windows to the city skyline.

“The recycled brick feature wall in the living room brings the outside in while lining the raked ceilings with natural timber ensured the space was not cavernous,” says Nadine. 

A touch of colour separates the kitchen in the otherwise muted palette.
A touch of colour separates the kitchen in the otherwise muted palette.
City views through the vast glazing feel like artistic representations adorning the walls, as the interior is surely too serene for the cityscape to be authentic.
A welcome view of the city.
A welcome view of the city.
Tinted glazing provides privacy from the passers-by.
Tinted glazing provides privacy from the passers-by.

Surrounded by restaurants, motels and high-rise apartments, Manhattan on Belmore holds its own.

“Built not to seek attention, yet it’s getting noticed. This home, while unique, will not date thanks to classic materiality; the building will only get better with age,” says Nadine.

Recycled brick, a strong medium in the design.
Recycled brick, a strong medium in the design.
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