This project, known as Bourke 632, has special significance as it was once Smart Design Studio’s headquarters. SDS were engaged by the new owners to refurbish the building to better suit their needs. The first floor level and stables were converted into self-contained one-bedroom apartments for their three grown children, while the ground floor office and roof top apartment remain intact and true to their original intended functions. The addition of a lift means the family will be able to comfortably remain in their inner-city abode for many years to come.
The new owners wanted to retain the spirit of the multi award-winning renovations to the building, done in 2004, whilst upgrading certain elements to utilise the best available technology. Glazing was replaced with high performance glass, new blinds were added to the three largely glazed facades and some joinery was modified to integrate new drawer mechanisms and appliances. New lighting such as the Viabizzuno Barra D’orra benefits from LED technology. The existing silver travertine flooring now continues down the entire stairway past the new apartments and office.
The original SDS renovation was conceived as a contemporary steel and glass insertion within an existing masonry shell. Formerly two adjoining terraces with rear stables, the 2004 renovation transformed the warren of boarding house rooms to two levels of contemporary offices with a living space above and basement below. Layers of old and new are evident within the building, from the raw treatment of the exterior façade through to a smooth modern interior.
The first floor and stables have been completely remodelled to suit the new occupants. The apartments within the main building share the same material palette but vary in layout due to the existing floor plate of the terraces. One benefits from an original balcony with a traditional wrought iron balustrade while the other enjoys views over the Golden Robinias through the glass louvred façade. In the stables, the meeting room is now a bedroom while the former workspace has become a living and dining room to compliment the existing kitchen. Clever planning makes best use of the compact footprints.
The new apartments at first floor level within the main building share the same material palette but vary in layout due to the existing floor plate of the terraces. One benefits from an original balcony with a traditional wrought iron balustrade while the other enjoys views over the Golden Robinias through the glass louvred façade. The new work is differentiated from the 2004 layer by an architectural language that consists of a lighter palette and curved detailing. Oak floorboards and wall panelling features throughout the apartments and custom grey terrazzo is used in the kitchens and bathrooms. The stables at the rear of the block have been converted from office space to accommodation, using clever planning in a compact footprint.
The working environment remains largely unchanged. The addition of bathrooms in the two new apartments above meant that new ceilings and lighting was required. Otherwise, the ground floor continues to enjoy a pleasant outlook with excellent ventilation and natural light which can be controlled by the individual users and has a five-star ABGA rating. Plantings of Golden Robinias and Flax in the garden beds on the northern side enhances the streetscape, contributes to the summer shading of the building and allows for winter sun to warm the interior.
SMART DESIGN STUDIO ARCHITECTURE FROM THE INSIDE OUT