Strelein Warehouse / Ian Moore Architects

© Iain D. MacKenzie

Architect: Ian Moore Architects 
Location: Surry Hills, Sydney,
Principal Architect: Ian Moore
Project team: Ian Gorton, Danny Mathis
Project Area: 150 sqm
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Iain D. MacKenzie 


© Iain D. MacKenzie

This project is the conversion of a late 19th century former grocery warehouse into a 2 level, one bedroom residence. In the mid 20th century it had 35 years of use as an engineering workshop before being converted to an artist’s studio and residence in the 1970s.

© Iain D. MacKenzie

The property has 2 street frontages, allowing clear separation of pedestrian and vehicle entries. The new front door is located in the former loading dock at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac, adjacent to a heritage listed sandstone wall. The entry is defined by a full height steel plate portal, adding to the palimpsest of former window openings and recycled brickwork that make up this façade.

© Iain D. MacKenzie

Internally a 1.7 metre height difference between the 2 streets is utilised to create the tall volume of the living space, with its’ floor to ceiling wall of books. The kitchen occupies the half level above, overlooking the living area and is screened by a black steel plate structure incorporating a built-in black leather bench seat. The garage opens off the kitchen, with its’ internal dimensions defining the major strategic move within the design. Once the guest bathroom/laundry/storage and the stair opposite were deducted from the internal width, together with the minimum width required for the garage, the remainder was 10 millimetres with which to construct the wall between the garage and stair. This led to the adoption of the 10 millimetre thick steel plate structure that flows through to the entry portals, the kitchen surround and bookcase.

© Iain D. MacKenzie

All existing structure has been retained, lined and painted white, while all new elements are painted black. This concept is carried through to the black and white rubber flooring. All joinery is finished in black anodised aluminium, including the bathroom on the upper level, which maintains the datum established by the height of the original window openings. The clear glazing above allows light from the new clerestory window to illuminate the formerly dark centre of the deep open planned space. Internally the bathroom is lined with Corian on both walls and floor.

© Iain D. MacKenzie

The main street façade reinterprets the original but in steel rather than timber, with the address spelt out in water jet cut steel letters reflecting the original engineering workshop signage. The contrast between the precision of the steelwork and the patina of the original brickwork summarises the transformation from 19th to 21st centuries and from industrial to residential.
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© Iain D. MacKenzie
Cite: "Strelein Warehouse / Ian Moore Architects" 09 Dec 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 May 2015. <>
  • Carolin

    The plans are somehow stretched…

  • Darcy

    they are quite smooshed.

  • ed

    I usually enjoy this Architect’s work, but I dont see anything remarkable at all about this project. The interiors are nothing new at all, and actually pretty banal, with the gimmick of the black and white palette, which would drive me nuts. I dont see any real dialogue between the steel and the old masonry that is mentioned, just a charming old facade with an empty whitewashed interior with sharp black edges inside to cut yourself on.

  • Nik

    I simply love it, clean and neat as usual.

  • archi

    Just wondering if someone at Archdaily could have a look at the plans/drawings provided. There are a few projects on Archdaily where the plans are somewhat distorted – squished – which makes me wonder if there’s some sort of technical issue that perhaps needs looking at by one of your capable people.