A poky Syd­ney apart­ment is opened up and re­vamped to meet its own­ers’ brief of a ‘time­less and el­e­gant Park Av­enue pied-à-terre’.


– a poky Syd­ney apart­ment be­comes a pied-à-terre

When in­te­rior de­signer Melissa Koch’s par­ents bought an apart­ment in the up­mar­ket Syd­ney sub­urb of El­iz­a­beth Bay last year, they all knew it was go­ing to be a se­ri­ous ren­o­va­tion pro­ject. The lo­ca­tion – on the water, with sea views in a quiet and peace­ful spot – was a key at­trac­tion but it was cramped, lacked light and space and the con­fig­u­ra­tion was all wrong. “It needed to be com­pletely gut­ted,” Koch says.

They en­gaged the ar­chi­tec­tural firm Alexan­der & Co and prin­ci­pal ar­chi­tect Jeremy Bull set to work. Sep­a­rate ‘zones’ were cre­ated for liv­ing, sleep­ing, din­ing and en­ter­tain­ing – all of which ended up mak­ing the apart­ment more com­pa­ra­ble to a town­house, says Koch.

“Al­though the floor plan was large, the scale was in­ef­fec­tive and there was a ‘sea’ of sense­less space. Our in­ten­tion was to give mean­ing to each space,” says Bull.

One of the prop­erty’s key ad­van­tages was the lo­ca­tion, Bull says. “The views over a very beau­ti­ful part of Syd­ney are spec­tac­u­lar.” How­ever, one of the big­gest chal­lenges ar­chi­tec­turally was that the orig­i­nal lay­out of the rooms was poorly con­fig­ured and had sig­nif­i­cant re­stric­tions to the water views, he says. “We over­came th­ese is­sues by re­mov­ing the walls and re­built them to cre­ate an ar­chi­tec­tural flow that en­sured all main liv­ing spa­ces had water views.”

Con­struc­tion be­gan in Au­gust and the own­ers were able to move in by De­cem­ber. Bull says the end re­sult is a home where ‘ev­ery­thing’ works. “The new floor plan has al­lowed sep­a­rate us­able spa­ces that the own­ers can re­ally en­joy. The apart­ment feels warm, in­ti­mate and lux­u­ri­ous. The water views are some of the best in Syd­ney.”

The din­ing room is sep­a­rated from the liv­ing room but the use of a cased open­ing (where the trims and mold­ings are in­tact but there is no phys­i­cal door) means the two spa­ces still feel con­nected. It also al­lows the din­ing room to take ad­van­tage of the...

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