The Pollack House

Tobias Partners bring a 1960s Sydney brick home into the 21st Century while carefully retaining the original design aesthetic

01 Jun 2010

We’ve been following Tobias Partners for a while now – they’ve got some outstanding examples of beautifully resolved, modern and liveable homes.

One that stands out for us isn’t exactly their latest, but it demonstrates their ability to sensitively update a 1960s classic. Completed in 2008, the Pollack House in Sydney’s Dover Heights was originally designed by Architect Henry Pollack back in 1964.

The modernist design has stayed in the same family all that time. So, for the owners, there was a strong emotional connection to the building and its design vernacular and for Tobias Partners this meant a need to retain the integrity of Pollack’s design.

The substantial refurbishment is a triumph of sensitivity, a careful manipulation of the structure into a 21st Century context.

The kitchen and living spaces were rearranged on the first floor, creating a flow between indoors and out and taking advantage of views and cross breezes.

By maintaining the defining elements of the home – such as the brickwork, open tread steel, sandstone feature wall and internal garden – while modernising the layout and interiors, the architects have achieved a careful marriage of old and new.

While heritage architecture in Sydney is strong, refurbishments and renovations of 1960s and 1970s properties can often take a heavy-handed approach, rendering the original design unrecognisable at times.

It’s so refreshing to see an example of a sensitive re-energising of a wonderful period in our architectural history.


Tobias Partners


Photography: Justin Alexander


henry pollack tobias partners


henry pollack tobias partners


henry pollack tobias partners


henry pollack tobias partners