Dwelling In Double Bay



Sydney Harbour is one of the most iconic harbours in the world, and if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a site that has even a glimpse of this beautiful scenery, its best to make the most of it! Set in a north-facing cove in Sydney’s vast natural harbour, the site of this family dwelling borders a recreational park and a public pier which juts out into the bay. With a pristine beach directly in front, architectural firm SAOTA, had the task of seamlessly connecting this surrounding environment with the interior of this new home.

Setting the tone for the architectural aesthetic and interior design of this Double Bay family home, the new building appears as a collection of planes; a play on space, privacy and threshold. Created using graphite grey sail screens (made from “Kaynemaile,” a polycarbonate chainmail developed in New Zealand for the Lord of the Rings movies), each piece is rigged just off the house providing privacy from the road. Timber cladding, plastered mass walls, a wood-clad soffit and the exaggerated cill of a bay window punched through the sail screens, are layered into further planes. This game of form and texture creates depth in an otherwise linear façade and provides privacy whilst maximising light and views to the park.

In creating a grand entrance for this home, the front door is at 90 degrees to the Bay, off the park. A ramp, edged by water, slopes gently up to the front door; the little rise adding to the sense of arrival. Here the “U” shaped plan of the house becomes clear and the entrance is a link between two wings, separated by an internal garden which, like an internal harbour, allows views through the spaces to the bay beyond. Seen from the courtyard, a massive blank wall of the upper storey seems to weigh on the glazed levity of the ground floor, amplifying the bay view beneath it.

The bayside wing of the house is one open plan space. Stairs, rather than walls, delineate the raised kitchen and family dining from more formal areas. These stairs extend seawards into the garden forming a line of axis and drawing the eye out to the view, as well as providing privacy from the public road alongside. The garden is raised above the towpath to provide additional privacy from the beach and to dissolve the distinction between the garden and bay while within the living space. This unique connection between interior and exterior is emphasised in the pool area whose orientation and extension towards the water makes a clear connection between the two.

Materials were carefully chosen for this home; the use of wood, white walls and travertine floors reflect the seaside setting. Off-shutter concrete is used as a playful accent which, like the rendered walls, appears almost soft and textured in contrast to crisp folds of screen and aluminium. The oversized Travertine tiles flow from seamlessly between indoor and outdoor spaces while the crisp white painting palette is comforted by timber detailing and dark, powder-coated architectural elements. This sleek combination of colours and textures creates an ultra-modern interior style that also contrasts dramatically with the vibrant blue and greens of the external environment; allowing both to have their moments of glory throughout the home.

As a South African architecture and design firm, SAOTA displayed their signature style in this design that was implemented in Sydney by TKD architects. Sharp lines, light forms and the lush integration of nature all combine to make the design feel homely and welcoming. A playful character, the calculated blurring of boundaries and the fresh, layered composition bring into balance the domestic needs of a young family and the wow factor that this phenomenal site deserves. SAOTA’s sister company, the interior studio ARRCC, developed a refined décor palette to suit the home and complement the client’s artworks. Lighting design by Point Of View and landscaping by Wyer & Co. combined with the dedication of main contractor, Horizon, to deliver a quality home with an exceptionally high level of finish.

SAOTA | www.saota.com

Philip Olmesdahl, Director of SAOTA


article courtesy of Metropolitan Home 2020