North Shore Design

North Shore design is as diverse as the area is vast. And in our five decades in the area, we’ve seen it all. In everything we do, our focus is on good design, because good architecture makes for good living.

If you are considering a new home in the area, it’s important to have a base understanding of any restrictions that can impact on your design.

Back view of the house with swimming pool

Heritage and conservation areas

The North Shore is an area with a rich history and heritage. Across the North Shore you’ll find old style grand manor homes, homes on large stands and other homes that reflect the history and character of the area. High ceilings, interior panelling, shingle roofs, timber or sandstone detailing or grand staircases that are the focal point of the home are common features you’ll find in these North Shore heritage homes.

But along with the beautiful heritage homes comes a set of restrictions around what you can – and can’t – do when making alterations and additions to the home. Playoust Churcher Senior Design Architect, Marielise van der Merwe explains:

“Despite the heritage controls, the council actually wants good architecture… they encourage it. A heritage renovation doesn’t need to simply mimic the style of the original home. While you can’t change the facade or streetscape, you can actually achieve quite a contemporary addition.

There is a perception out there that heritage homes are problematic and you should avoid purchasing them. But with the right architect it’s such a wonderful journey. It’s actually good for the area, as the heritage homes don’t become stale. The result of heritage architecture combined with the contemporary addition that is sensitive to the original home is quite spectacular.”

Heavily wooded bushland area

Right across the North Shore you will find pockets of bushland. It’s one of the charms of the region – a bushland oasis so close to the centre of the city. But as with the heritage homes, homes within these areas are subject to fire zoning restrictions.

“If your home is in a fire zone, you need to use special glass, fire shutters and engineered materials,” explains Marielise. “Your whole design is affected because you can only use certain materials and everything has to be certified as fire rated.”

1950s subdivision

In areas of the North Shore – predominantly East Lindfield and East Killara – you’ll find homes that were subdivided in the 1950s. These homes are generally on large blocks and don’t have fire or heritage restrictions.

These homes are ideal for demolishing and building anew, as Marielise explains:

“It’s a good challenge for us to work in these areas. There’s not as many council restrictions, so we are a bit more free to push the boundaries in terms of architectural style.”

Design your dream North Shore home

At Playoust Churcher, we have been working as North Shore architects for more than five decades. We have a deep understanding of the style and character of the North Shore and partner with our clients to bring their dream home vision to life.

Contact us to discuss your dream North Shore home with one of our team of experienced architects.

Read more North Shore design articles.


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