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This apartment is located on the top floor of ‘The Danmark’, Wolseley Road, Point Piper. The site was originally a grant to Captain John Piper in 1720 and was constructed in 1906 for John Paul and named ‘Danmark’ after his homeland. Also associated with industrialist William John Smith (of Australian Glass Manufacturers), the property is of social and historic significance.

My client bought two one-bedroom apartments and converted them into a single 3 bedroom apartment. These two one-bedrooms were formed out of a pair of upstairs bedrooms in the original Edwardian house, entered off the main staircase. The existing apartments had a 4m high heritage ceiling. The apartment was dark and had little natural ventilation (as was accepted practice for the period) even though it had the potential for a panoramic view of the harbour. The existing balcony balustrade was corroded and not conforming to current Australian standards. The existing timber windows and doors were old and dysfunctional as were the two enclosed kitchens, not at all suited for a contemporary lifestyle.

The clients brief, in a nutshell, was that a contemporary open plan design for a modern lifestyle be catered for, but paying respect to the heritage features such as the ceiling and fireplace while retaining the beautiful detail of the original design. The kitchen and wet areas were to be modernised and at the same time the new layout was to capture the panoramic view of the harbour.

I was enthralled with the picture postcard view and the 4m high ceilings the first time I visited the site which led to the objective of being able to bring this view into the apartment and create a relationship between the new and the old (history) while creating flowing space between indoors and out. To achieve the concept, the layout of the ‘Herringbone timber floor’ was arranged to point towards the view as if to coax the onlooker to ‘look this way’.

• Location: 16-18 Wolseley Road, Point Piper, NSW, Australia
• Area: 150 m²
• Cost: A$400,000
• Status: Completed in 2013