Step Down House


Bijl Architecture


Kingdom Renovations


Austral Bricks

Products Used:


Building Contractor:

BH & CJ Bricklaying Services

Photography Credits:

Peter Bennetts

Situated in Willoughby NSW, the Step Down House was originally built in the 1910s, then extended in the 1970s with a mediocre framed lean-to at the rear. Bijl Architecture’s design saw this existing back portion demolished to make way for a new expansive extension at the ‘stepped down’ floor level.

This rear extension was built in the striking Blackstone brick, complementing the simply framed parapet with off-white cladding. This brick creates the robust and grounded appearance of the addition, which comprises an oversized door opening and timber elements that contribute to a balanced visual composition.

The brick was selected for its varied aesthetic and design capabilities and enduring appeal to create continuity with the materiality of the existing house, and to meet the client’s low maintenance requirements. On the northern elevation, where the existing dwelling wall and external side entry connect with the new addition, the original sandstock bricks mingle with the Blackstone bricks in an artful pixellated pattern. Inside, leftover seconds bricks that would have otherwise been discarded were upcycled in the kitchen wall and painted white.