The Junction Residence, Mark Lawler Architects, New South Wales, Australia

Located in the suburb The Junction, Newcastle on the Coast of New South Wales, Australia, designed by Mark Lawler Architects. The site is a small block ( and just over 10.0 metres wide. The house is a 4 bedroom family home, with the main bedroom and ensuite both opening onto a private deck.

Concept description text: The approval process with Council was more difficult compared to traditional houses.  Council’s codes are written primarily for the typical suburban setting with freestanding houses on relatively large lots. Mark Lawler Architects were engaged to assist with the interior design including the detailing of the Kitchen, Bathrooms and in the selection of the internal and external colours and materials.  The involvement of the Architects in these critical finishes to the house has made a large contribution to the success of the completed building.

To create the illusion of greater space the Architect employed a number of design strategies.  One important feature is the open plan Living, Dining and Kitchen which maximises the full footprint of the ground floor of the house.  To further enhance this space it is surrounded on two sides by large, stacking, sliding doors.  When closed, these doors provide generous natural light and good contact with the exterior courtyard.  When open, these doors provide good natural ventilation and seamless indoor, outdoor living further increasing the living space.  The combination of these features together with the floor tiles extending from inside to outside and the use of a crisp white for walls, ceilings and Kitchen joinery enables the space to flow harmoniously from inside to outside creating a main living area which feels twice as large as the plan dimensions indicate.

Externally while the house needs to occupy the maximum permissible building envelope it has been articulated with the roof projections, entrance porch, street fencing, pergolas and external colour scheme to provide an interesting and dynamic presentation to both streets.  Due to the sunny orientation the play of sunlight and shadow over the building at different times of the day creates further interest and articulation.

Often in design a difficult problem can be taken as inspiration for an unusual solution.  This house is an example of such an outcome.  A small, cramped inner city site has been developed with an unusual house design which provides more living space than was first thought possible.  This house is an example of what can be achieved by creative design and original thinking and not attempting to apply inappropriate, preconceived design.


Tags: architecture, Australia, New South Wales, residential, suburb, The Junction Residence

Author: Maja Markovski


A 35-year-old female architect with a passion for innovative, sustainable design. I blend creativity and functionality to transform spaces into beautiful, practical environments.


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