Houses — Substation House

Substation House

  • Architecture Award - 2003 NSW Australian Institute of Architects Awards
Reyners Construction
James Taylor + Associates
Anton James Design
Brett Boardman


  • Architectural Review – AR Residential 2002
  • 100 Amazing Sydney Homes – SMH 2002
  • Domain – SMH 2002 / 03
  • Architecture Bulletin 2004
  • Architecture Australia 2004
  • Inner City Living 2004
  • Curbed, “Now Even 1916 Electrical Substations are Becoming Homes”, May 2013

The project is located on a compact site in Paddington. The original site consisted of a single storey disused electrical substation, built in 1916 on the remains of an old quarry.

The building’s interior had been stripped, leaving a series of elongated trenches, originally housing electricity cables. The brief required 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and living areas with the flexibility of converting the ground floor area into a multi-purpose gallery space, and the upper floor bedrooms into office space. A series of complex urban design issues and existing site complications required careful resolution to see the project out of the ground.

The front walls of the substation were retained and a new 3 storey building inserted behind, providing both a barrier to the street, and a private courtyard. Existing trenches were transformed into a pond and wine cellar, with kitchen, bathroom and laundry concealed within a service wall. Bedrooms, bathrooms and deck were located above, accessed via a timber walkway and stair.