These stylish new terraces in Paddington have replaced an old panel-beating shop. The luxurious interiors of the modern terraces.
Terraces create a picturesque streetscrape.
Sydney has long been embroiled in a love affair with the terrace – and now there’s every sign that the ardour is heating.
Housing experts from all sides of the spectrum are championing the humble terrace as the greatest form of high-density housing. A conference on terraces will be held in February and the NSW Planning Minister, Brad Hazzard, has publicly advocated a return to building them.
”Now we’re issuing a challenge to all architects and architectural schools around the nation – to come up with a 21st-century form of the terrace,” says the chief executive of the Committee for Sydney, Dr Tim Williams.
”The terrace is one of the most successful forms of human habitation, and everyone loves terraced housing.”
Never before has the modest terrace – old or new – created quite so much interest on all sides of the political spectrum, for developers and, also, among home buyers. Taking up less land than freestanding houses, and tending to be much more affordable as a result, they can be a bargain buy.
Even so, housing industry analyst BIS Shrapnel believes we ain’t seen nothing yet. ”There’s some evidence in the figures that there’s been a real increase in building activity in the area of terraces and townhouses over the last five to 10 years,” associate director Kim Hawtrey says.
Terraces were first built in Sydney in the 1850s and they were generally single-storey workers’ cottages in poorer areas of the inner city.
Today, they take almost any form, from rows of tiny homes in Surry Hills to beautifully restored three-storey terraces in suburbs such as Paddington, Balmain and Glebe; from newly built infill projects to integral parts of master-planned communities Harold Park and Jacksons Landing in Pyrmont.
They’re also increasingly being included in major new developments, such as Sugarmill in Camperdown, a collection of 32 new two-, three- and four-bedroom terrace houses, terrace-style apartments and single-level units.
And their appeal never seems to fade. ”They’re just a wonderful compromise between a freestanding house and all the low-maintenance advantages of an apartment,” says Bob Guth of BradfieldCleary, who is selling four new state-of-the-art terraces in Paddington (see cover and box).
The big advantage of new terraces is that they can be built to blend in with existing housing. And they do help create good communities, says Williams, who recently authored the report Homes for All for the McKell Institute.
”They provide private space, yet they also promote neighbourliness,” he says. ”They’re usually close to facilities and public transport, they’re big enough without being too big, they’re energy-efficient and they’re affordable. What’s not to love about them?”Checklist
Terrace prosThey’re more affordable than houses.They’re usually in areas close to public transport, schools, doctors and cafes.They preserve neighbourhood character.They help create community.
Terrace consOld ones can be small and dark and in need of opening up.They can be less secure than an apartment.They are becoming so fashionable, the price is rising.You can’t escape the neighbours.Cover property
Once, this patch of Paddington was the home of a panel-beating shop, long considered an eyesore by local residents. Now it’s the site of five handsome terrace homes in the suburb’s newest infill project.
With the private developer keeping one for his own family, the four others at 67-73 Cascade Street, towards Trumper Park, have just been put on sale, at prices from $3,175,000 to $3,475,000.
“They’ve been a triumph of blending modern architecture with the existing Paddington terraces,” agent Bob Guth of BradfieldCleary says.
“They’re quite magnificent and offer a modern, luxurious lifestyle, even though they use a relatively small block of land.”
The four three-bedroom, four-level terraces on offer range from about 270 square metres internally to 300 square metres, for those with a home theatre. The back gardens are another 70 square metres, with small front gardens of about 25 square metres, and three of the terraces also have lifts.
Key features of the GSA Architects-designed homes, built by Gledhill Constructions, are the stylish, oversize bedrooms, with the main bedroom and bathroom on the top floor, undercover parking and storage, and media rooms.
Co-agent with 1st City’s Julian Hasemer, Guth says: “These sophisticated terraces are a very rare find in Paddington as they combine the latest in design, appliances and living spaces in what is a sought-after area of the inner city, with great access to public transport, schools, shopping and entertainment.
“They’re very well priced, too. They’re around $11,000 a square metre, which is outstanding value.”Timeless terrace
Living in an old terrace house that’s been tastefully renovated into a contemporary home means being able to enjoy the best of all worlds, Karen and Chris Scott say.
“It has all the peace and elegance of a bygone era rather than hard-edged modernity,” Karen says. “Yet you still have all the convenience of a house that’s been extended and opened up over the years.”
Karen, a retired social worker, and Chris, a retired laboratory director, have been living in their 1880s terrace at 32 Fitzroy Street, Kirribilli, for the past 11 years but now, with their three children having all left home, have put it on the market.
With four bedrooms, gardens front and back, formal and informal areas, 2½ bathrooms and a double garage, the couple, both in their 60s, felt they could manage with a lot less space.
“But we will miss it,” Chris says of the house now being sold by Nigel Mukhi of McGrath Neutral Bay (0412 696 666). “The heritage nature of a terrace gives it a real connection to the past and that historic aesthetic, but you also have the comfort of it having been modernised.”
The terrace has a price guide of more than $2.8 million.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.