Smart Design Studio - Sydney Architects


AIA NSW Architecture Award Interior Architecture 2012 Winner
Australian Interior Design Award Best Residential 2012 Winner
Australian Interior Design Award  Design 2012 Winner
Belle Coco Republic Award Best Colour in Res 2012 Winner
AIA NSW Architecture Award Best Residential Interior Houses 2012 Commendation


This exciting renovation and extension of a turn-of-the-century terrace focuses on a grand and gracefully spiralling stair that forms the pivotal junction of old and new. Upon completion in 2011, the project won numerous awards. Furniture and decoration compliments the reimagined terrace in Sydney’s Potts Point.



Maintaining the original  Federation façade, the rear section of this private home is a contemporary, light-filled environment that opens onto a lush, terraced garden. The transition from indoors to outdoors occurs seamlessly, via a 13-metre sliding glass wall, concealed in joinery when open.


A grey Travertine-finished floor and island bar, along with Corian® bench tops and stained American Ash joinery enhance the streamlined, monochrome mood of this contemporary section of the house. Bronze window frames, ironmongery and trims unite both portions of the three-storey home.


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.

The house is effectively a series of complex, interdependent spaces comprised of confident forms and exquisite detail. Certain rooms readily transform; the study becomes a secluded guest room at the drawing of a dramatically sweeping curtain; and a panelled door concealed in joinery provides privacy for twin guest bedrooms, divided by a cylindrical bathroom.

The formal living space remained a warm red colour, with white floors and traditional detailing. The layout is formal, with two leather bound linen sofas, and an oversized marble coffee table centering the room. A specially commissioned painting doubles as decoration and as a sliding door for the TV hidden behind.

A joinery pod in the master suite houses an exquisite walk-through robe, lavish bathroom and stairway through to an attic retreat. The original master suite had a palette of soft lilac and crisp whites. These colours were retained and elements were added to increase the complexity and detail.

Designed in a pared-down Classical style, finishes in the original portion of the house embody contemporary elegance: deep, flush skirting boards, grand paneled doors and wide timber floorboards are rendered in gloss white paint and offset by richly coloured set plaster walls, a different colour treatment in each room offsets the inherent darkness of the Federation frontage.




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