A tired and dilapidated terrace located in eclectic Darlinghurst Sydney and one of a collection of three row houses built circa 1860 was given a face lift from the inside leaving no trace of new work to the street facade or the rear façade which overlooks adjacent terrace houses. The existing configuration and areas of the row house consisted of a bedroom and bathroom to the lower ground floor, kitchen and living to the ground floor with poor courtyard access, and 2 bedrooms with a shared bathroom to the upper floor. The concept and approach to the internal fit-out consists of minimal structural impact and rearranging the existing spaces to create a more fluid approach in the arrangement of living, dining and sleeping spaces. The palette of materials and colour was reduced to creating a white perimeter of walls and ceiling with selected joinery elements painted in black, a dark coloured timber and concrete floor and surprises of yellow randomly splashed about connecting the three floors visually. A new opening was created in the existing wall dividing the kitchen to the living, thus creating a more open and light filled space with a sense of connectedness to both living spaces.
Storage and spatial qualities of the existing rooms were considered and also became design cues to create adaptable and interesting rooms for living. The kitchen features a bespoke joinery unit with built in concealed and visible storage boxes with an integrated fold down table which depending on it being in the open or closed position can transform the space and the pattern of use. This ‘Tetris wall’ offers the Ground Floor the only real burst of colour and this, in combination with the use of timber floor and vertical screen offsets the coolness generated by the black and white, with a genuine warmth.
The vertical screen is a series of floor to ceiling vertical hardwood timber planks and replaces a dull stair balustrade. The screen allows for visual relationship between living and dining whilst integrating the traditional stair construction, which was retained and links the two objects visually. The screen further enhances the pure perimeter of ‘white’ by it’s central positioning.