THE DOUBLE UP
Gissing House redesign, Wahroonga, Sydney
Gissing House, Wahroonga, Sydney
Interior design as urban design. Redesign an existing house. The project explores the various ways domestic arrangements can be shifted and transformed in order for two families to coexist in a single household. The chosen house is Harry Seidler’s Gissing House in Wahroonga. The brief is to accommodate two couples: one with a 3 year old and the other with a 5 and 15 year old. Guest bedrooms are added for friends staying over.
Instead of bloating the house with unneeded extras and ‘luxuries’ we can instead allocate and utilize this space for something that I think the modern family urgently needs – spaces where there can be social contact.
The proposal is to get the occupants away from the compartmentalized private spaces and into the public and semiprivate spaces where there is opportunity for an encounter between members of the two households. It could be subtle like a glance, a smile or a wave within the circulation spaces. It could be more embedded into the program: somewhere to sit and chat, have a coffee or read the paper together in the morning. In having not one large shared space, as seen in open plan living, these modules of spaces interconnect and intersect one another.
There is a shift from plurality to singularity. A double-up household that could potentially be regarded as one. The spatial conditions change the domestic arrangement. There is a constant negotiation between the two households and between the occupants. A spatial system that provides the flexibility to delegate, share and interchange the ownership of the space.