ALICIA HOLGAR deployed shapely curves within this Brisbane apartment, channelling the lines of the Harry Seidler-designed building for its cocooning, art-filled core. aliholgar.com What was the brief? To reimagine the space into a luxurious and impressive apartment with a light and welcoming atmosphere. What were the challenges of the space and how did you resolve them? There were three main challenges. Firstly, to unpack the brief and create a response that was harmonious with Harry Seidler’s iconic architecture. Secondly, to incorporate ample space for books and a TV on a large flat wall in the lounge area. After a number of iterations this became a full-length curved and cantilevered wall, which works as an extension of the architecture. The last challenge was working with the fluid floor plan. I spent time on site, feeling out each space and designing custom pieces to suit. Inspired by early approaches to integrating art through sculptural forms and organic murals, I commissioned LAbased artist Jessalyn Brooks to do a line-work mural. As she became comfortable with the space, the narrative evolved and she created a pair of original murals called The Avians, which reference the apartment’s outlook over the city skyline. The hope is that the murals are now part of the architecture, embedded into its story. Describe the completed interior? The space feels impressive but not in the way you would expect. Through pushing boundaries and utilising the element of surprise, the calm palette is enriched by a sculptural sophistication, which adds new layers of depth, light and shade. What are some favourite elements? The space is best experienced as a whole where the sum of many important parts can be fully appreciated. An overarching joy is the symbiosis that was achieved with the architecture through a play on curves and cantilevers. What informed the selection of art, furniture and fittings? The curves and architecture provided guidance on form and function, while modern European principles around understated luxury informed the aesthetic and palette. Were the owners happy with the execution? Bespoke is not always an easy process, but the outcome is always worth it, and especially rewarding with such positive feedback from the clients.
of Brcar Morony Architecture had to work around an inflexible floor plan when reconfiguring this apartment in Sydney’s Rushcutters Bay. brcarmorony.com What was the brief? The clients, who are a young family of three, wanted to explore the possibilities of creative storage and working solutions for a flexible and family-oriented lifestyle within a modest footprint. The brief was to transform a tired and dark ground floor apartment into an open, free-flowing and interconnected series of spaces that would extend through to their external private courtyard. What were the challenges of the space and how did you resolve them? Being a groundfloor apartment meant all the walls were load bearing and made out of heavy solid masonry which required considerably large steel beams to prop up the new openings. Describe the completed interior? The apartment was stripped and a contemporary, classic and warm colour palette was overlaid. The aesthetic consists of American oak solid timber floorboards laid in a herringbone pattern, a combination of American oak and white polyurethane joinery elements, black steel door and window frames and a restrained use of Carrara marble throughout the kitchen and bathroom. What are some favourite elements? Were there any devices used to maximise the sense of space? Innovative and clever strategies were used to create spaces and nooks throughout the apartment. A study desk now suspends within an existing doorway which transforms into a display or service area for the dining room. Slender-profiled joinery was designed to display, store and conceal while not becoming overbearing within the spaces. Solid timber American oak portal frames provide a visual connection, overall warmth and a sense of scale to the apartment, accentuating the generous ceiling height. What informed the selection of art, furniture and fittings? We wanted to keep the palet te light and contemporary but warm with whites, oaks and black accents, supplemented with colourful art. Were the owners happy with the execution? Yes, they were thrilled with the result! In the client’s words: “The detail and thoughtfulness is immediately appreciated on arrival.”