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Nestled on Nature’s Edge: 1970s Brick Dwelling Gets a Modern Upgrade

Giving a brick dwelling from the 1970’s a brand new appeal, Bijl Architecture transformed the Burrawong House in Mosman, Australia into cheerful and inviting contemporary home filled with natural light. The task presented a unique set of challenges that went beyond mere aesthetics, as the home was nestled on the edge of a national park and integrating it with the greenery outside was an essential part of the makeover. The original brick structure was left largely untouched on the outside, with the new addition in gray on the top level adding visual contrast and a hint of modernity to the classic edifice.

Burrawong House on the edge of a national park

A series of picture windows, skylights and glass doors bring the outdoors inside while eliminating any scope of a dull or poorly-lit corner. The color scheme relies on the extensive use of white for the backdrop, with delightful paintings and décor bringing in a flood of color and pattern. Carefully planned cutouts shape the new basement-level music room and the lap pool next to the home, even as the private spaces feel relaxed and inviting. Still inherently traditional and yet unmistakably modern on the inside, this is a bushland home that bridges two different design philosophies. [Photography: Katherine Lu]

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Living room of the altered 1970s Aussie home

Modern artwork brings color to the contemporary interior

Natural light gives the home a cheerful, modern ambiance

Kitchen in white with ample natural ventilation

Minimal contemporary bathroom in gray

Gray and white bedroom with pops of blue

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As the property is in the highest level bushfire planning zone, any new external materials needed to consider not only the aesthetic and form of the original 1970s brick dwelling, but also the ability to withstand stressful bushfire conditions. We also considered how any additions to the existing dwelling would best blend with the highly textured and colored brickwork as well as the dense bushland surrounds.

Lap pool around the remodeled and revamped 1970s Aussie home

Modern addition to the 1970s brick house Down Under

Contemporary home on the edge of a national park

Covered outdoor zone and dining space of the Aussie home

Floor plan of the music room and the pool

Floor plan of the revamped 1970s home in Australia

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