Architects: Smart Design Studio
Location: Sydney, Australia
Client: Kevin O’Neill and Johnson Chan
Project Team: William Smart, Victoria Judge, Richard Storey, Edmund Spencer
Gross Floor Area: 325 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of Smart Design Studio
This exciting renovation and extension of a turn-of-the-century terrace house in Sydney’s Potts Point focuses on a grand and gracefully spiralling stair that forms the pivotal junction of the old and new parts of the house. The staircase, spanning the width of the building, features delicate fan-like steel treads cantilevered from the central steel post and winding their way past six split levels, offset between the old and new sides of the house. The stair was conceived as the element that grafts the contemporary and new minimal structure to the refined, trimmed and formal older portion of the dwelling.
Spacious living areas and private zones open out from each side of the stair with one area per level alternating between the old and new building. Formal living, dining, kitchen and informal living; master suite, guest suite, study and laundry: each zone maintains a natural sense of privacy from the other through the offset in level yet maintains a sense of interconnection in the openness and movement created by the stair.
Internally, finishes in the old portion of the house are contemporary and elegant in a stripped-classical style with deep flush skirting boards, mannered panelled doors and wide timber floorboards, all in gloss white paint and offset by richly coloured set plaster walls. In contrast, the mainly white extension with the same gloss white floorboards, features a black stained timber-boarded joinery element across three levels. Bronze window frames, ironmongery and trims unite both portions of the three-storey home.
Externally, the connection to the outdoors is accentuated through a 13 metre clear span wall of sliding doors that overlooks a pocket garden. An addition to this, the bi-folding doors are concealed by joinery to provide a seamless connection to the tiered rear garden with mature pepper tree. This house offers extraordinary spaces complemented by confident forms, understated design and exquisite detail.