Australian Institute of Architects


Christopher Polly Architect

17 Harold Street

Ph. 02 9516 5994


Christopher Polly Architect is an award-winning full service architecture practice established in Sydney in late 2005. It engages with clients who share in the reward of accomplishing bold visions to enrich their daily lives, who prioritise quality over quantity, and who place value in achieving inventive and well crafted spaces that are meticulously detailed and finished.

A strong emphasis is placed on a critical synthesis of the opportunities and constraints of each site, context and client brief for the creation of uniquely appropriate and sustainable outcomes in response to place, landscape and patterns of use.

Project profiles

Binary House

Woolooware, Sydney, 2018

A crafted volume is carefully connected to the retained and refashioned rear of an original 1960ís brick envelope to enact clear planning, cost and environmental values in an articulated binary composition of spatial and material opposites - a cellular and private front with an extant yellow brick character, and a voluminous and public rear with a singular grey metal expression in counterpoint. The retained bungalow responsibly preserves the embodied energy of its original footprint while contributing to meeting a modest budget and allowing the mid-century form of its suburban type to be retained within its locality. The two-storey pavilion provides an expansive double-height living area and serves as a generously proportioned \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'garden room\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\' with large apertures capturing sky and landscape views. It achieves improved privacy from overlooking neighbours while concurrently allowing desired transparency for unfettered spatial relationships within its volume and across its two parts for strengthened connections to its place.

Unfurled House

Petersham, Sydney, 2016

An articulated two-storey volume is sensitively stitched to the rear fabric of a Federation masonry and hipped envelope. Environmental, cost and planning values entailed in retaining the original fabric are augmented by a modestly sized footprint and lightweight-framed envelope in a crafted new-build enabled at the rear. It has a sectional split-level relationship to the original house that harnesses the fall of the site to the rear, allowing the cellular front plan to unfurl into a series of connected interior spaces that expand to its setting. Fenestration placement harnesses natural light and promotes passive ventilation, while acoustic attenuation measures for alternative air ventilation, insulation and internal linings assist the performance of the envelope in ameliorating latent aircraft noise. Surrendered floor area enables generously carved voids flanking an upper bridge for diverse views to sky, trees, and outdoor spaces, while encouraging a spatial interplay of public, semi-private and private rooms.

Cosgriff House

Annandale, Sydney, 2013

A substantial lower ground room is inserted under the original fabric, harnessing the fall in the site towards the rear. It extends deeply beneath the existing dwelling and outwards towards the garden to transform the original dwelling in combination with a re-modeled rear ground floor above. Both levels accept a modestly-sized lightweight addition which extrapolates existing wall alignments, gutter levels, enclosing wall heights and a southern roof plane - that at once, extends and subverts existing geometries to present an interpreted mirrored slice of the original vernacular form attached to the retained rear fabric. Vaulted ceilings and skylights carved within the original roof form expand volumes for access to light and sky within the middle of the ground floor - while a stair hall, cantilevered balcony and generous void spatially expands to the lower level below, and upwards to views of the external environment to strengthen connections to its setting.

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