Domenic Alvaro seeks buyers for award winning Small House in Surry Hills

Domenic Alvaro seeks buyers for award winning Small House in Surry Hills
Domenic Alvaro seeks buyers for award winning Small House in Surry Hills

Sydney architect Domenic Alvaro’s strikingly small, five storey Surry Hills house has been listed for 18 October auction with $1,875,000 plus hopes.

The one bedroom trophy home – known as Small House – has been credited for its exceptional urban architectural and interiors features.

Small House is a multi-award winning project on inner city Belmore Lane, having won World House of Year 2011; and many local awards including Residential Architecture (Houses) and Small Project Architecture at the NSW Australian Institute of Architects Awards; and New House under 200 square metres and the Outdoor category (in collaboration with 360°Landscape Architects) at the annual HOUSES Awards.

It has been listed by BresicWhitney agents Ivan Bresic and Shannon Whitney by Domenic and wife, Sue comes after the birth of baby, Alessia.

The Grand Designs Australia television host Peter Maddison dubbed 8 Belmore Lane the "house of millimetres."

It was conceived after buying three car spaces on a corner in Surry Hills and building a five-storey house above it. It comes with a floor space of 220 square metres on its tiny 42-square-metre plot.

Inspired by architects in Tokyo who work with incredible small spaces, the house is built from prefabricated concrete that can be moulded offsite and assembled onsite in four days.

The block had cost $230,000 in 2008.

The award-winning property, owned by architect Domenic Alvaro and his partner, Sue Bassett, was featured in the first series of Grand Designs Australia after its 2010 completion by the builder Nicholas Bettar, from Baseline Constructions.

Wedged between an old terrace and an industrial building, the house was built upwards rather than outwards, given the site was so small it can fit into the double garage of a typical sprawling suburban home.

“The philosophy of small house proposes to build upwards rather than outwards, by assigning multiple uses to single spaces, with flexibility for change in the future,” Alvaro once advised.

Like many traditional homes, the kitchen is the social hub of the house, central to the other living zones.

Alvaro is the principal at Woods Bagot Sydney studio

Woods Bagot is a global studio with more than 800 staff working across North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East.

Despite the tiny size of the parcel of land, the house has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, living, kitchen and dining areas.

Costing about $650,000, the house is zoned vertically:

  • Ground floor: utility/ store/bicycle/parking
  • First floor: sleeping/bathing, storage
  • Second floor: living (with optional additional zone)
  • Third floor: food prep/eating/entertainment, topped by a working roof garden terrace, all connected via a series of stairs.
  • Roof: a “working” roof garden terrace (the circulation space enables a small study on the roof space, and the panel sliding doors open to enable the roof to become the fifth room of the house – albeit an outdoor room – and herb and flower garden with over-scaled fig tree, thus creating a canopy effect.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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