Residential / Alterations and Additions / 2017
The brief for House Howley was to provide generous accommodation for a family with 3 young children, while respecting the character of the existing finely detailed Californian Bungalow on the site.
The concept for the design was to create a series of spatial transitions, informed by the volume of the existing gabled roof, to morph the building from a traditional street façade at the front, through to a contemporary open-plan living volume at the back. The key planning move was to introduce a central courtyard, which at once allows norther sun into the new living area, and acts as a pivot point between the existing and new parts of the house, and vertically between the ground and first floor. Slight geometric shifts in the courtyard volume allow space for a feature maple tree and add spatial drama to the daily ritual of using the stair.
The new work is hidden from view from the street, while the north-facing front garden is celebrated through new native planting and a sandstone seat under the existing Magnolia tree. The retained portion of the existing house has been carefully restored, and maintains a traditional character of cosy separate rooms. The plan opens up at the back, with a new kitchen enjoying a commanding central position to survey the existing and new portions of the house and keep an eye on the children. The large glass doors enclosing new living spaces can all be fully open to provide a seamless connection with the garden and the new swimming pool and alfresco area.
The design maximises energy efficiency without making it an obvious feature. The ground floor extension, constructed in brickwork recycled from demolishing parts of the existing house, uses natural ventilation for cooling. The thermal mass of the polished concrete slab along with a centrally located double-sided fireplace contribute to heating. The lightweight first floor has double the required insulation, ceiling fans for cooling, and a combination of retractable external venetians and screens for shading. A solar panel array on the roof and 6000L rainwater tank contribute to the efficiency measures.
The design allows for a variety of both private spaces to get away and gathering spaces where the family comes together. The material palette is robust, with a combination of existing hardwood floors, concrete flooring, brick walls, painted cedar and granite paving. The first floor is more pared back, while allowing a generous scale to the bedrooms and bathrooms including a large walk-in wardrobe. The landscape and lighting are integral to the design, providing a rich backdrop to the clean and simple interiors.
House Howley maximises the opportunities of approval through the Complying Development process, while future-proofing the house the house for the next generation.
Landscape design by Melissa Wilson Landscape Architects
Photography by Tom Ferguson
Residential / New House / 2016
This new house in Russell Lea has been designed next door to the owner’s previous home of 27 years. Looking to downsize as their children moved out and started their own families, but wanting to stay in the area that was so familiar to them, our clients asked for a simpler, more compact and sustainable home.
The new residence is efficiently laid out with central stair and lift access from the garage/workshop/home theatre area downstairs to the open plan living spaces and landscaped backyard above. Resisting the trend to add rooms to ‘maximise the site’, the house is compact but spacious and filled with natural light from expansive north-east facing highlight windows and an internal courtyard. Various energy efficiency measures include a full solar panel array, 10000L underground rainwater tank, hydronic underfloor heating, double the minimum required insulation, double glazing in key areas, and motorised blinds and louvres to control sunlight.
The kitchen layout has been designed to hide the necessary items of equipment and instead present a joinery pod to the living space. The laundry doubles as a bar/servery during parties and large family gatherings. The front façade is expressed with a cedar base which hides the garage door and leads visitors into the entry foyer, and an oversized window frame which forms nearly the full front elevation of the first floor, cantilevering over the entry and framing the master bedroom and ensuite behind. A sentimental piece of the cottage which was demolished on the site has been re-used – a stained glass window which was the pride and joy of the elderly couple who lived here now holds pride of place in the wine cellar.
Construction by Ferrocon
Photography by Tom Ferguson
Residential / Alterations and Additions / 2014
with Studio [R] Architecture & Design
Designed with Sam Rigoli and Studio [R] Architecture & Design, with landscape by Amber Road Design and construction by Ferrocon, the project involved the restoration and extension of an existing character-filled functionalist-style home in Killara, with the addition of an unassuming low-slung living pavilion at the rear.
A series of existing rooms and new joinery items leads visitors through the existing spaces, and down a new stair into an expressive open-plan space with expansive views to the surrounding landscape. The centre of the new space remains column-free thanks to a large custom-made steel truss which supports the stacking sliding doors and the new master bedroom above. The pavilion is split into a quadrangle of spaces (lounge, alfresco, dining and kitchen/scullery), each with a different outlook and quality of natural light. A central sculptural skylight traces the time of day through a strip of sunlight which illuminates the pavilion at different angles throughout the year.
While creating an open and welcoming house, the design takes advantage of the superb double block with visual and physical links to the new landscape and adjacent pocket park.
Photography by Tom Ferguson
Hospitality / 2017
Established in 2004, Two Fratelli occupies a space on the lower deck of Sydney’s historical Jones Bay Wharf in Pyrmont.
The project included a complete strip-out of the existing interior, with a new fitout including an updated layout, new commercial kitchen, joinery and furniture. The design respects the beautiful detailing and colour scheme of the existing wharf. The existing concrete floor has been exposed, with a paired-back palette of colours and brass detailing giving a new fresh look to the interior. The project was constructed by Ferrocon in just under 2 weeks.
Our commission also included new graphics for the logo as well as website design which can be viewed at www.twofratellicafe.com.au
Photography by Tom Ferguson
Residential / Alterations and Additions / 2015
This Project involved a major renovation and extensive additions to an existing Californian bungalow in Rodd Point. The original house layout seemed to be back to front, with the living room on the street side and bedrooms blocking access to the back yard. Our decision was to reverse this configuration, placing the master bedroom at the front with an outlook onto the leafy street, and the children’s bedrooms on the northern side. At the back we added a series of new flexible open-plan spaces including a rumpus/guest room, living/dining/kitchen space, pergola and cabana, all opening onto the back yard.
Service and storage spaces have been placed along the southern side of the house, and include a new garage, store room, laundry and walk-in pantry. A large sculpted skylight allows for good natural light to the centrally located main bathroom. The new addition opens up to views of the sky, allowing for a greater sense of space within a compact footprint. The design maximises the floor space of the house, and was designed as a Complying Development. Construction by Ferrocon.
Photography by Tom Ferguson
Competition / 2016
Our joint entry with Studio [R] Architecture + Design for the home of tomorrow competition challenges the obsession with iconic form and the architectural “feature”. Hearth Home emphasizes the inherent qualities of the humble brick: robust and timeless, protective and sustainable, with a unique beauty derived from its repetitive patterns. Hearth Home seeks to utilise the brick as the efficient heart of the home, rather than a veneer, in order to make the most of these qualities.
More than an exercise in a decorative or protective skin, the brick patterns and proportions form the core of the communal space. The result is a full brick central volume (the hearth), which is beautiful but sturdy enough to take life’s knocks and bumps. The dimensions of this hearth are based on the brick module – the inherent geometry of the material ensures an efficient construction method with limited wastage, with any rejected or damaged bricks being used on site within the landscape.
The hearth is the centre of the house structurally and socially. As the family unit changes, the hearth remains constant, acting as a gathering space for ebb and flow of daily life. Ancillary spaces plug into this core and are lightweight and flexible – they can be easily varied and added to as the needs of the family change.
The monolithic nature of the hearth is punctured by natural light. The heavy surfaces come alive with the changing light and allow an appreciation of material and craft, while also controlling the thermal comfort of the home. The joy of the coolth of the brick surface on a hot summer’s day contrasts with the heat emanating from the brick fireplace in the winter.
The inhabited brick terrain allows for a compact but materially rich experience, providing a setting for the daily rituals of the family for generations to come.
Hospitality / 2015
This project involved converting an underutilised entry courtyard in front of a terrace housing a dentist clinic into a vibrant café serving specialty coffee. Located in a busy pedestrian area of Kogarah, the café is a small weatherboard-clad kiosk, with recycled timber benchtops.
The space blends into its heritage context with minimal detailing and recessive colours, allowing the specialty coffee and personal service (the owner is also the barista) to be at the forefront of the offering. Stay Handsome caters for a variety of experiences: the quick take-away coffee ordered from the footpath, a lingering sit-down coffee, or an espresso at the verandah bar.
The design and styling reflects the owners European background by evoking the character of old-fashioned bistro’s or kiosks dotted through parks in Europe. The project re-instates the importance of the humble kiosk in contemporary hospitality design practice, recalling its historical significance as a key architectural element in the streets and parks of our cities.
Competition / 2017
The fertile soil of the Balvenie Mains rests heavy and dark in anticipation of the sowing season. The strong geometric volumes of the distillery buildings, weathered with time, sit quietly in the background. As the barley crop matures, the unpredictable Scottish weather creates a visual concert of sun, light, shadow and rain over the landscape. The barley sways in the wind, waiting to be harvested, the coarse grains eventually passed through the hands of skilled craftsmen to be transformed into a precious amber-coloured liquid. The heavy oak casks rest in the atmospheric stillness, maturing to the malt-master’s expert instructions, eventually coming to life through the senses – awakening the colour, smell, taste and texture of the final product...
Our bar design is an abstract interpretation of the landscape of the Balvenie Mains, and the unique craft of The Balvenie whisky-making process.
Tested and developed through a series of scale model iterations, our proposal focuses on the craft of how the components and connections relate to each other, as well as the ease of assembly of the bar. The design is richly layered – a timeline imbued with whisky-making symbology. At the base, a heavy oak volume marks the horizontality and weight of the landscape. Growing through this datum, a field of copper stalks of various diameters emerges. The pattern of the stalks casts shadows with the ebb and flow of people gathering around the bar, animating the whisky bottle display. Above, a liquid-like sheet of glass floats effortlessly, colouring the surroundings with hues of amber light. A single cylinder, resembling a component of the copper stills, acts as a sink to complete the composition. With time, the oak and copper acquire character and patina, improving with age, while celebrating the history and forward-looking innovation of the craftspeople behind The Balvenie.
Residential / Alterations and Additions / 2015
The second stage of our Wareemba House project includes the conversion of a garage into a flexible studio space, as well as a very detailed new landscape scheme and exterior renovation of the existing house. The main concept for the garage conversion was to create a secondary north-facing living space, connecting the new garden with the main house, and extending the sense of space from the previously renovated living/dining room all the way to the rear boundary. The new studio can accommodate car parking, but is flexible enough to be used as a lounge space, kids playroom, home office or workshop. The newly landscaped back yard accommodates functional areas for clothes drying and feature planting, while providing a granite-paved playground surface for the kids to scooter, bike and and skateboard on. The refurbishment of the front of the house with a more formal cottage garden and veggie patch completes the transformation.
Photography by Mark Szczerbicki Design Studio
Competition / Collaboration / 2017
Our proposal (in association with Nick Wood - How About Studio, UK) for this year’s NGV pavilion is a bold and contextual addition, that will give the public intimate access to aspects of the garden setting and offer new experiences that radically alter their perception of the site’s environment.
Peripheral elements carefully interact, extend and occupy - seeking out new relationships with the existing garden and creating a series of intimate moments within a public space that is already familiar to many.
We believe the careful union of our proposal with its context will both preserve and enhance the garden through encouraging exploration and play.
Competition / Collaboration / 2018
Social engagement begins with understanding the plight of others.
68.5 million is the number of people around the world who have been forced from their homes by disasters and conflict. Many of these flee their countries, and as refugees undertake perilous and dehumanising journeys to arrive in unwelcoming foreign countries. Then, if not returned to their country of origin, they are released into the city to make some kind of life.
The number of people currently displaced around the world is unprecedented, with one person forcibly displaced every two seconds because of conflict or persecution. Globally around 60% of refugees live in cities.
Our installation, in collaboration with Professor David Sanderson (UNSW), allows for visitors to participate in an immersive experience which recreates, to some small degree, the stages of a refugee’s journey once arriving in a foreign country: a journey of processing, incarceration, uncertainty and release. The use of ubiquitous shipping containers, designed to move non-human goods, underpins the dehumanising journeys most refugees make.
The installation, at first mute and silent on the exterior, will change over time. Starting a few days after the opening, the outside of the containers will be progressively illustrated by artists living in Sydney who have experienced forced migration. They will be invited to share their stories and participate in a series of talks and events.
Residential / Heritage / Alterations and Additions / 2013
An extensive re-modelling of a historical terrace house in Birchgrove, originally built in the late 19th century. The concept for the project is to use a 90cm wide strip of space along the common wall to house as many functions as possible, in order to free up the rest of the space. This 'thick wall' includes vertical circulation, kitchen, bbq area, storage, toilets, laundry, skylight, AV/data hub, and a wine cellar. Previously modified and in a dilapidated state, the renovation gives a new life to this heirloom, respecting its heritage elements while future-proofing it for the next generation of owners.
Photography by Katherine Lu
Competition / 2014 / Commendation
A competition entry in collaboration with Woolacotts Consulting Engineers for a new feature for the National Arboretum in Canberra. The competition was organised by Engineers Australia and attracted entries from all around Australia.
The proposal was awarded 2nd prize, with the following jury citation:
An exciting engineering solution that embraces form, scale and technology to create a very special visitor experience - an organic viewing platform that rises from the forest floor using hydraulic principles, lifting the visitor up to view the forest and arboretum. As a strong object in the forest, this proposal celebrates the story and potential of engineering.
Commercial / 2015
This project involves an office fitout and facade upgrade of a warehouse building originally completed in the 1990's. The new spaces include offices, a common meeting room and lunch room, as well as new signage and graphics. Mark Szczerbicki Design Studio currently shares the building with Ferrocon Construction and Management, a building company often involved with the construction of our projects. The remaining warehouse component is used by a natural food product wholesale company.
Photography by Mark Szczerbicki Design Studio
Residential / Interior design / 2014
An extensive interior refurbishment of a house built in 1926. The many layers of all the past renovations were stripped away to reveal the original fabric. Subtle changes to circulation and access were made, along with key interventions to improve natural light and ventilation. The project included new flooring and finishes, bathroom and kitchen joinery, built-in storage, custom furniture and lighting design. An existing large raw steel beam, hidden within a plasterboard bulkhead, has been exposed as the main feature of the new open plan living/dining/kitchen area.
Residential / Design Stage / 2014
An extension to a charming cottage in Bardwell Park, the project picks up on the character and craft of the original dwelling. The proposed new living space establishes improved connections with the backyard, views, sun and sky. Natural long-lasting materials create warmth, while custom joinery displays the client’s collection of artworks and quirky artefacts. The corner of the new dining room is ‘carved away’ to form a large skylight looking up to a large established Jacaranda.
Invited Competition / 2013 / 1st Prize
Mark Szczerbicki Design Studio collaborated with Perumal Pedavoli Architects and Studio [R] Architecture + Design on this scheme for a new Gosford Regional Performing Arts Centre. The project includes a Performing Arts Centre, with a 1000 seat multi-purpose Auditorium and 200 seat Studio plus associated front and back of house facilities and services, as well as a Conservatorium with teaching, rehearsal and support spaces, and a 150 seat performance space.
The judging panel selected this winning concept design, which was found to have the best vision in terms of innovation, energy efficiency, architecture and planning.
Residential - Conversion / 2013
A unique small garage/museum building in Huntleys Cove housed a collection of racing cars. Our client purchased the building and asked for it to be converted to a residence while retaining the character and features of the original structure. A new kitchen and study space were added on the lower level, while the existing upper level mezzanine was subdivided into bedrooms. The steel spiral staircase was re-positioned as a feature of the new living/dining space, which doubles as parking for a Harley Davidson.
Urban Islands Retrospective 2006-2016
Exhibition Design / 2016
Designed with Tom Rivard with assistance from the Tin Sheds Gallery, this exhibition looks back at 10 years of the Urban Islands Masters Studio program, while showing works by Shaun Murray (UK), Jill Stoner (Canada) and MAP Office (HK) and their studnets.
Sea levels rise, promising the removal of man-made constructs by forces of nature, and the consequent sedimentation of matter somewhere else. This may be prompted by collective human inaction.
Floods of migrants wash across the globe, resisted by nation states with the same logic that prompts the sea wall in defense of climate change. These diasporas are set in motion by collective human action.
Every Island is a bounded destination, with a fluid threshold promising entry and defying definition. Within these loosely marked (and continuously shifting) territories, there is also the promise of vacancy, not necessarily the poignancy of the empty, but rather the latency inherent in the mythological idea of the Island as a place of refuge.
Vacancy/No Vacancy? poses an elemental question: as the world grows smaller, what do we leave room for?
All photos courtesy of Tin Sheds Gallery
Residential - Alterations and Additions / 2009
A two-stage project to transform an existing 2-bedroom cottage into a 4-bedroom house. The design maximises space and natural light by opening onto landscaped courtyards on the northern and southern side, and by the introduction of a large void space above the dining room. The dining room extends through an outdoor kitchen and terminates with an in-situ concrete garage and carport.
Competition / 2004
Our proposal is a reaction to the mute, static and introspective presence of Building 1 and the urban nature of the UTS city campus. We propose a new icon for the campus in the form of an ephemeral, dynamic and transparent tower floating above a folded landscape. The ground plane contains a new rooftop park which folds down into the digital arena to fluidly interlace and immerse public circulation with the digital explorations and research activities happening within the new facility. The proposed rooftop park links and extends the green spaces of the Broadway Precinct Concept Plan onto the roofs of existing buildings to create a unique experience of a 'floating' landscaped campus suspended above its gritty urban context.
Studio [R] project team - Mark Szczerbicki, Sam Rigoli, Glenn Macari, Caryn Lim / Collaborator: John Cabello
Competition / 2010 / Honorable Mention
This competition entry was a collaboration between Studio [R], Perumal Pedavoli Architects, Tom Rivard, Peter Wachmiller, Steven Sheridan and Cundall ESD Consultants.
The competition jury, chaired by Daniel Libeskind, commended our scheme with an Honorable Mention. The jury's citation: This somehow whimsical entry stood out for its richness and narrative of presentation, bringing a very personal approach to the challenge of representing the anguish of war. The honourable mentions selected by the Jury demonstrate different typologies with a variety of philosophies and approaches to the problem, which are worthy of note. They illustrate some very different architectural expressions which represent one of the most extreme human suffering of the 20th century.
Commercial – Ferrari workshop and showroom / 2007
A conversion of an existing warehouse into a state-of-the-art showroom and workshop for a boutique Ferrari dealership. A dramatic new two-storey high cobblestone-paved car ‘stable’ is created to face the street. A sculptural timber-clad stair houses a merchandise display and leads up to a new office space at the first floor. The existing saw-tooth roof is retained for the workshop with new hoists and workshop spaces added. An F1 simulator, Ferrari coffee machine and racing memorabilia complete the experience.
Residential / 2010
A new house in Killara for a young family of four. The design negotiates a sloping site and a large existing tree in the back yard. The entry foyer/stair circulation space splits the house into a low-slung single storey living pavilion and a two storey bedroom volume. An in-situ concrete seat encloses a small courtyard off the living room and doubles as a chalkboard for the children.
Masters Studio / since 2006
Urban Islands is an independent cross university program that brings renowned architectural practitioners from around the world to Sydney's Cockatoo Island. Guest tutors each run an intensive 12 day workshop based on and about Cockatoo. Through processes of inhabitation and insinuation, each studio will question the nature of place making in an increasingly mediated world.
The studio runs on a biennial basis, and is organised by Olivia Hyde, Tom Rivard and Mark Szczerbicki. For full details see www.urbanislands.net
Competition / 2012
If Melbourne has found a lounge room in Federation Square, Flinders Yards is the City’s pantry, kitchen and dining room. Much more than just a transport interchange, a civic space or a commercial centre, Flinders Yards is a living, working, operational part of Melbourne, offering activity, engagement and nourishment 24 hours a day.
Our entry for the Flinders Street Station Design Competition in collaboration with Perumal Pedavoli Architects, Studio [R], Tom Rivard (Lean Productions). Special thank you also to Felix Saw, Trevor Townson, Matt Austin and Jason Tran for their help with the project.
Exhibition Design / 2009
The exhibition explores the changing role of the model in today’s architectural practice. The focus of the presented material is shifted from the usual static display of abstract objects to an interactive exploration of the processes, techniques, materials and people involved in the creation of architectural models.
A modernist building designed in the late 1940’s by the iconic Australian architect Harry Seidler – the Marcus Seidler House – becomes the focus of a series of architectural models produced especially for the exhibition. The models are supplemented by insights into the behind-the-scenes design process of some of Europe’s leading offices. Images and movies of the work of Jean Nouvel, Bolles+Wilson, EMBT and Delugan Meissl among others reinforce the importance of the model in today’s globalised digital environment.
Exhibition Design / 2010
Using projects by architecture students from UNSW, UTS and the University of Sydney, along with key visions included in City of Sydney’s Sustainable Sydney 2030 plan, we follow in the footsteps of imaginary city dwellers as they explore Sydney in 2030 through a variety of graphic and video media. An urban narrative by Tom Rivard of Lean Productions traces a graphic path through Customs House while positioning the projects at various sites around the city.
Commissioned by the City of Sydney and curated by Mark Szczerbicki, this exhibition was held in conjunction with the 2010 Sydney Architecture Festival.
Art Project / Ongoing
Deleted Scene is a side project started by Mark and Liz Szczerbicki in 2011. The project is an outlet for experimentation with various materials, laser-cutting, manufacturing and hand-crafted techniques. The outcomes so far range from small limited edition artworks, through to custom commissioned one-off pieces, as well as larger artworks in the public realm.
Please contact us if you require more information, or if you would like a copy of the current artwork range catalogue.
Residential / 2007
The principal organising element of the house is a two-storey high entry volume which extends out into a shallow pond and water feature in the back yard. The entry allows for vertical circulation via an open stair and is crossed by a bridge linking the first floor living and kitchen areas. The bedrooms are positioned on the ground floor and open onto landscaped courtyards, while elevating the living spaces above to capture views of the nearby bay. A rooftop terrace allows for a panoramic view of the surrounding area including views of the Harbour Bridge and CBD. An existing mature Frangipani tree is retained as a key landscape element.
Exhibition Design / 2010
As part of the Architecture 10 exhibition curated by Tom Rivard at the Boutwell Draper Gallery, Mark Szczerbicki was invited to present the many models built as part of the design process of his work at University, with Studio [R] and with Perumal Pedavoli Architects. The outcome was ‘Model City’ - an imaginary urban composition of models of various scales and styles, complete with a tourist map designed especially for the exhibition.
Teaching / 2014
The studio aims to investigate innovative approaches to urban infill by tapping in to the latent potential of underutilised industrial and infrastructural sites around Sydney. Through proposing architectural interventions in these often heritage-listed but badly dilapidated, left-over and vague spaces of the city, students are invited to challenge typical approaches to conservation, housing density and urban renewal.
Selected images shown from projects by Benjamin Chan, Jason Goh and James Bennett.