Winking at SWAD

Posted on Sat, 26 Sep 2009 by midcenturyjo


Something a little different on WINKS this weekend. Our favourite (and most generous) architect Scott Weston sent us photos of his latest project overlooking Sydney Harbour at Point Piper…. the before photos that is… but what a before! Liberally sprinkled with hints of what’s to come I thought a Saturday was just the day to drink in all the details. Once again Scott has included his incredibly detailed models as well as drawings to help us understand the design process even more. WINKS returns in its original form next week but for today take it away Scott!


We have been working on the project since April 2009 and now it’s finally at construction stage- it’s a bit like going through a pregnancy or long gestation and then seeing it finally come to life. Our Client works in the publishing and media field and purchased this deceased estate ‘Art Deco’ apartment with beautiful bespoke joinery by cabinet maker ‘Paul Kafka’. While looking at the cabinets I came across a name plate inside a door (refer photo) and did some research and found out that his work is on display at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney.

During the process of designing the apartment and borrowing on the items that were built-in to the apartment we decided to reference Art Deco but not mimic it. Unfortunately, most of the bespoke joinery which are so beautiful could not provide the functional requirements of the Client’s family needs and how the apartment would function in the long term future. The entire apartment had the existing clothing wiring with bakelite fittings and requires a completed re-wiring as does the gas, plumbing to kitchen and bathrooms to bring it up to Australian Standards. So it was with great distress that we had to remove these items (items were taken away by interested parties) and demolish bathrooms that were built back in the 1940’s….. to last forever.

Detail shots of the Study Model with individual models to each room detailing the materials and finishes.

It was great to see that these spaces were built to last not like the built-in obsolescence that is most typical on more recent apartments. Rather than waffle on I thought I would attach a visual feast of images of the existing conditions, the model and concepts of each and every room and the materials and finishes we have specified. Essentially each room references ‘Art Deco’ with selected rich veneers but the twist being when you open up the joinery it contains a solid colour to the internal carcass. So for example the master bedroom is ‘Birds Eye Poplar’ with internal cabinets in Black Tulip (aubergine) and felt lining. The kitchen is simple chic black and white with mauve internal cabinetry, mini mosaic black and white tiles and linoleum flooring. Bathrooms are exquisite jewels with the Client exclaiming yesterday “she has her perfect princess bathroom” of coral, black and light pink with circular mirror cabinets back lit. We even have the pleasure of placing original Fornasetti cabinet within the apartment to complete the design. Will keep you posted on the work as it progresses and my Client moves in prior to Christmas holidays. Enjoy the images!!!!

Master bedroom study model and sketch options of joinery and bedside drawers.

Dining room study model and sketch options incorporating the original ‘Fornasetti’ cabinets.

Son’s bedroom with bespoke built-in joinery with orange internal carcass and ‘Deco Monkey’ wallpaper.

It was with great distress that I have to remove this kitchen but we are building something that is beautiful and extremely functional with a mauve twist.

The coral colour glazed tile bathroom that references Art Deco and the 1950’s with back lit silver circular mirror.

OMG! I’m floored. An amazing Art Deco time capsule and a stunning re-interpretation. Thanks Scott. Finished pre-Christmas? Can’t wait to see the final result.

Annika says:

Very inspiring! I really like this post!

1 of my favorite desire to inspire posts ever!!! thanks for sharing!

Fiona says:

This is really enjoyed this post!

Anonymous says:

OMG amazing to see the process!!!! If I dont see the after photos I just might DIE. Great post… Sometimes in the middle of the night when I cant sleep and I have anxiety I pop over to your blog, the effects are similar to xanax. So thanks ­čÖé

I can't wiat to see it finished….amazing that this apartment was still in such an original condition, xv.

kim. says:

How cool to see how this renovation is going to play out. It's such a great space. Scott had better send us after photos!!!!!!

virginia says:

It's sad a buyer couldn't be found who was willing to keep this amazing example of the period intact. The new design looks gorgeous and well done, it is just depressing that such a beautiful place is being pulled apart.

manuel says:

very nice ­čÖé

Nan says:

OMG! My Fornasetti cabinet… you didn't pick that up at Gallery68 did you?

Keeping it all closed up and hiding all its little secret delights.

*sigh* she's a beauty.

and the wood flooring hidden below the carpets *drool*

Nice work!

Anonymous says:

And every wall left in place — it must have been made to survive Plan Nine! I'm so glad you were able to repurpose some of the original work, and that other bits found new homes.

However, I'm not too sure about that monkey paper! I love it, way period and funky, but how long could you look at those monks before you began chittering? Hopefully, small amounts.

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