Stephen Varady Architecture
Designed and Built
2002 – 2005
Anne Vella Nyranie Landscape Design
Michael & Mark Fullagar
Fiona Avenue, Wahroonga
4 Bedroom, Study, 3.5 Bath, 4+ Car (Garage) & Workshop
Simpson Design Associates
© Michael Nicholson
The Fullagar Residence in the quiet enclave of Wahroonga, thirty minutes north west of Sydney, sits surprisingly discretely, in its setting at the end of a leafy cul-de-sac. Harry Seidler’s iconic 1948 Rose Seidler House is a short walk away and owner and builder Michael Fullagar recounts that walking tours occasionally pass by in order to connect the house with its illustrious neighbour as it’s one of the few homes in the locale with modernist pedigree. In the Rose Seidler house, itself a homage to the villa’s of LeCorbusier, colour is applied boldly but discretely; primaries used to mark out individual elements like doors and joinery units within an all-white gallery-like context, exuberance saved for the courtgarden mural painted in the architect’s hand.
In the Fullagar Residence, architect Stephen Varady adopts a quieter palette but applies colours liberally and strategically; externally to break the scale of the house and internally to compliment and accentuate the drama of daily rituals. On entry, an open timber stair offers glimpses through the heart of the house to the garden, this volume cutting across two floors to a glass ceiling, creating an axis of light and movement for both floors. This clever device splits the house into clear horizontal and vertical zones. The double height entry void effectively cuts the house in half and acts like a gallery; a generous volume that one passes across or through in order to move between rooms. It acts like a lung bringing light deep into the centre whilst offering glimpses through to the garden as well as opportunities for casual collisions between family members, conversations across floors and between rooms.
“By breaking the exterior surface into smaller coloured panels, the scale of the house has been visually reduced.”