Private Residence Point Piper, Sydney
Monday 03 Jun 2013


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The residence comprises five levels of accommodation, a staff apartment, boathouse and garage block. The main residence features a street level lobby, three/four bedrooms all with en suite, library, dining room, elliptical stair hall, two living rooms, family dining/kitchen, pantry, laundry, cellar, media room, gymnasium with en suite and steam room.

The brief demanded respect of classical proportion but in a wholly contemporary context. The interiors design was intended to be coordinated with the style of building and to have a classical, timeless quality.

The concept was to create an axial view from the front door through to the view and to have principal rooms radiate from central vertical and horizontal axes culminating in the elliptical stair hall as the centre of the residence.

Visitors are required to pass through the stair hall to reach the living rooms and the entertaining deck on the harbour side of the residence. Lower levels are accessed by a second stair. Ceiling heights are deliberately generous to increase the sense of space.

The project contributes to contemporary practice by demonstrating how residential interior design can also include design language that is contemporary, stylistically consistent, precisely detailed and that blends traditional and modern styles in a coordinated result. The project illustrates how details such as handrails, balustrades, paneling, doors and windows, cabinetry, ceiling detailing and fireplaces can be designed to conform to a unified theme without losing creativity and originality.   

The project achieves sustainable design outcomes that utilize fresh air, natural light and controllable, shaded spaces. Minimal use of grid electricity, extensive water storage from roof runoff, zoned heating and cooling when required. Employs water and energy saving hardware.

The project advances design practice by demonstrating to interior designers that ‘contemporary design' can be more than minimal, modernist interiors with specification of exclusively contemporary furnishings. When the brief calls for a ‘classical' design solution expressed in a contemporary context, it is possible to produce a well-designed, innovative result that meets practical and aesthetic requirements without being a pastiche of a bygone era. The design methodology of this project demonstrates how when ‘architecture' and ‘interior design' are conceived together the result can be complementary in every way.    

Ormsby Kerrins Freeman