Spider House


  • ITN Architects
  • MMD Constructions
  • Emma Dwyer Interior design
  • Nigel Grigg
  • Matthew Dwyer


The Spider House is an extension and renovation to a 1960’s solid orange brick suburban two level house, involving a complete aesthetic renewal of the entire house. This was achieved with a series of infill additions, new verandah structure, reconfiguring some internal walls and part deconstruction of the tiled hip roof to form a dramatic internal ceiling, as well as a complete renovation throughout.

Key Features


The idea was to bring the solid but tired suburban brick house into the 21st Century and redesign it to suit contemporary needs and standards including passive solar design elements such as deep verandahs, light filled internal courtyards and study areas as well as ensuites and new additional bathrooms.. A separate studio apartment on the lower level was also created, and the gardens excavated and landscaped to form private courtyards.


A few adventurous elements were explored with the white terrazzo flooring in the casual living areas as well as interesting ceiling forms and large areas of internal courtyard glazing creating a gallery effect within the house. The expansive areas of white finishes are tempered by the soft cedar timber panelling and trim used throughout.

The interior palette and materials were kept simple and consistent and also continue externally on the building reflecting the outside within, using cedar panelling ceilings, white terrazzo flooring, white walls and brickwork and black steel trim and window frames.


The Interior Design of the Spider House was a collaboration between the Architect Nigel Grigg, the Interior Designer Emma Dwyer and the Builder Matthew Dwyer, and it is the third project this team has undertaken in recent years, all with an equal contribution of design and ideas.

The idea was to give this heavy solid brick house a light and bright feel throughout with the new and existing surfaces and finishes. It was also intended to retain and capture the spirit of the old suburban modernist house as reflected in the new work.


The existing heavy tiled hipped roof at the front was altered to form a windowed gable and to provide a dramatic ceiling within the living area below, bringing northerly light within to the kitchen area of the house. A verandah was added at the front to provide shade to the north and over the upper deck and entry, and to in part disguise the buildings former life as a classic suburban modern brick and tiled house.


Selected Mid Century 1960\’s details were kept and restored or renovated where suitable and merged with the new work throughout.

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