Anderson Architecture was established under the direction of architect Simon Anderson in 2002 in Sydney, Australia. The firm has experience working on various project types, specializing in high-quality and sustainable domestic architecture. They emphasize Designs that are humane and connected to nature while using tactile materials that bring the project to life.
Simon strives to stay ahead of the sustainability curve, and prove the enduring value of investing in beautiful, small-footprint designs. The spaces he designs are warm, light-filled, and easy to live in, rejecting minimalism. Through Anderson Architecture, Simon has pursued his passion for innovation in depth. As a leading innovator of new materials and design techniques, he utilizes this experience when specifying energy-saving materials and design techniques for client projects. Taking a collaborative approach to clients, paying attention to detail, and emphasizing site-specific design are core principles of the practice.
Following are some of the notable projects of the firm:
1. Waverley House
The clients wanted a home filled with light, easy access to the backyard, and excellent thermal performance year-round. As a result of the urban context, a two-story form with a full height bright living room void and a slanted folding roof to the south was proposed. The Computerized louvers adjust automatically, screening the void when the temperature triggers on hot afternoons. During rainy weather, a moving roof can be deployed remotely by a phone or personal device. Solar-powered, hydronic, underfloor heating in this home adds extra warmth in winter but is rarely needed.
Low-e windows with thermal breaks were a cost-effective, eco-friendly architecture measure to ensure high thermal performance.
2. Off Grid House
Located in dense bushland in the Blue Mountains, Off Grid House of Architect Simon Anderson and his family, defines sustainable living under extreme conditions. As the architect and owner of the house, Simon aimed to create a small house that was primarily used as a weekender to escape the city. It was a lifetime opportunity for him along with his wife to build an experimental home that was as sufficient as possible.
An open-plan kitchen, living, and dining area would need to turn its back on the sun to capture views of the escarpments to the south. As a solution for Off Grid Cabin, two steeply pitched skillion-roofed boxes were built, oriented in opposite directions, and performing differently. The sun-lit box serves as sleeping quarters during the day by maximizing passive thermal performance. As a result, the escarpment-facing box would have little of this solar benefit. However, this was happily traded for the opportunity to install a 6.7KW solar panel on a flat roof.
Located within a Heritage Conservation Zone in Alexandria, the clients wanted to renovate their existing house with a desire to retain as much of the original building fabric as possible. They wanted to reconfigure their dark, inefficient cottage to include a new bathroom, laundry, kitchen, dining, and living area, all of which would connect to the courtyard. The key innovation was to tuck a folded-form second story into the existing house. The aim was to make small spaces feel larger through the utilization of “small home” design principles like borrowing light and creating sightlines.
The orientation of a home determines its liveability. In this heritage home located in the inner western suburb of Lewisham, the family spent most of their time in dimly lit, cold rooms due to their south-facing living quarters. To enhance the thermal performance of the house, introducing light and warmth was only the beginning of the process.
An internal courtyard was introduced, which opened the home’s heart to the sun. Strategic placement of eco-friendly concrete walls and hydronic heated floors brought much-needed warmth to cold areas. A striking cantilevered stair detail adds a sculptural element alongside the courtyard. In the backyard, bricks from the old kitchen got reused as another strategic thermal mass wall. This wall acts as a screen for a 1400L tank that supplies ample rainwater for the newly landscaped garden.
5. The Shed
The client’s initial idea was to transform a large existing shed into a studio garage but later thought to build a secondary dwelling on the substantial inner-suburban block. On the southern boundary, the project evolved into a long, slim building with north-facing windows to let the sun shine inside the narrow plan and heat the concrete slabs. The insulated concrete slab receives plenty of winter sun from the north facade, which stores heat during the day and radiates it at night. On the southern side, an insulated brick wall provides thermal mass.
The ground floor features a multipurpose garage accessible from the rear laneway, in which the client has a workstation, laundry, powder room, and a car garage. The dining, living, and kitchen are built to the east of the garage, within a double-height space. A timber staircase with a reclaimed boat oar balustrade provides access to the first floor which consists of a bathroom with an operable skylight and a bedroom with views through strategically placed windows into the roof garden.
6. Denning Street
An overall concept of the project is to provide a family home that is efficient, practical, and environmentally friendly, with good connections to the outdoors and access to the coastal views local to the area. A three-story building is designed following the site slope and reducing the overall height by splitting levels. The ground level contains the main entry, kitchen, and living spaces while keeping the bedrooms on the first floor. The garage and store areas are on the basement level. The use of screening and sensitive glazing locations provides excellent privacy from the neighbors.
7. House R.D.
An old terrace house, which was the client’s home for many years, has been designed into an energy-efficient, comfortable, and sustainable home. By drawing out the home’s treasured historic elements, a balance was struck between creating a contemporary space that would enhance its sustainability credentials and allow the clients to continue cultivating it to reflect their eclectic tastes and interests over time. By relocating the utilities to the center of the house to capture the northern aspect of the site, the internal layout of the house was revised to take advantage of the site’s natural assets.
The entryway now features an open tread timber staircase with a clever reading nook below, replacing a cramped and dark living space. Through the dramatic angular form of the rear side, lush green views are allowed from the center of the house, emphasizing the connection to the garden. The architect, client, and builder worked together to create a home that reflects the individuality of its occupants.
8. Ferry Road
Ferry Road House is a beautiful example of how infill development within a heritage conservation area can be comfortable, practical, and environmentally sensitive without compromise, based on a steep and narrow site, a desire for lightness and space, and a design philosophy grounded in passive solar design. In addition to a detached garage with a first-floor studio, the house also provides a sunny and green outlook from the kitchen and living room through a green wall. With the use of operable skylights on the first floor, double and triple-height void spaces and open floor plans allow for stack effect ventilation and purging of warm air during the summer months. Boundary walls and concrete floors provide thermal amplification.
9. Hanging Gardens House
The Hanging Gardens house is a sustainable addition to the rear of an existing semi. A new dining area and kitchen are connected by a central courtyard, creating a series of indoor/outdoor living spaces. The decent first-floor addition provides a new master bedroom, ensuite, and a study that overlooks the kitchen below. Overhanging the dining pavilion, a green roof minimizes the visual and environmental impact of the new additions. Thermal mass in the form of concrete floors and a green roof passively heats the house during winter and keeps it cool in summer.
10. Sol House
Australian heritage and contemporary architecture come together to create Sol House. As the original street frontage is retained, the interior layout is modified to provide more efficient and logical use of space, further enhancing the home’s thermal performance and comfort. As a result, a high-quality family home has been designed that responds to the site and offers a contemporary urban oasis surrounded by lush vegetation.
Through the use of cross ventilation, thermal mass, daylight access and control, and sustainable and thermally efficient materials, the Sol House incorporates both traditional and contemporary sustainability practices. The Sol House is an excellent example of what a suburban Australian home may look and feel like in the future. As a heritage building of historical significance, it has been sensitively transformed to honor its history while exceeding sustainable practice norms to meet the needs of our citizens and the planet today.
11. Bridge House
This project involved rebuilding a decrepit inner city terrace destroyed by termites. A north-facing courtyard is introduced in the design to bring light into the house. Above the kitchen, a ‘bridge’ travels through a double-height void, which connects the new first-floor bedroom and ensuite to the rest of the house. Fully insulated and thermally broken windows, a floor heating system, green concrete containing recycled and waste components, and LED light fittings are the important passive features in the house.
12. Mosman House
The concept behind the Mosman project was to open up the rear side of the existing house to engage better with the backyard. As the rear side faces north, the house extension is designed to capitalize on passive solar techniques. The selection of materials includes the use of sustainable, recycled, and locally sourced timber. A thermally massive green concrete slab stores heat in winter and aids natural cooling in summer.
13. Rozelle Green
A grand Victorian terrace is renovated by removing its 1980’s additions and reconnecting the house to the back garden. By lowering the living space, light floods back into the center of the house. Thus, the new living room is designed at a lower level than the existing floor level to improve its connection to the garden. The exposed steel frames function as both structural and architectural elements, creating expansive openings and supporting the first floor above.
14. ST James Road
To increase the size of the living area and the capability of the dwelling, a new first floor was added above the existing single-story terrace. Ensuring the longevity of the building, the new extension provides two additional bedrooms and a bathroom. A window seat overlooks the rear yard from the rear bedroom, which has French doors with views out to an adjacent park. Skylight and highlight windows are strategically placed to bring maximum natural light in the house.
15. Bondi Apartment
The Bondi apartment built in the 1930s, located on the cliff top at Ben Buckler’s Point, has seen many changes over the years. The reconfiguration of the layout is done considering the structure of the original plan as preserved in the apartment below. The living and dining areas were enlarged by combining them. Window sills are reduced down to floor level, creating standing balconies to get the maximum view of the ocean. The new openings provide better natural light. The lightweight acoustic floor is finished in limestone and the frameless glass railing accentuates the connection to the ocean below.