It was the inherently sound design of this 1950s house that inspired us to persuade the clients to retain it rather than call in the bulldozers. The house was a Modernist design by Frank Fox and Associates, with the contribution of the then young Adrian Snodgrass, and we were particularly keen to preserve it as a fine example of its kind while also bringing it up to contemporary standards. A strong Frank Lloyd Wright influence was apparent in the builder’s low flat roof profiles, stepped walls and rational room layouts. A main concern was to bring more light into the interior and to remove some walls to open the spaces up to the views. By introducing new joinery and surfaces we managed to transform the look of the living spaces without diluting the original integrity of the building itself. Interior designer Pia Francesca collaborated with us on this project, producing an interiors palette and furnishings schedule that enhances the original design. Among the new materials are limestone, bluestone and tasmanian oak, and a copper fascia to the roof. We also worked with landscape architect Vladimir Sitta to open the house out to the garden and give a greater sense of connection between living spaces and the outdoors. Sitta also opened out the garden itself, transforming darker corners into sunny open spots.
The house was subject to two renovations with two different owners. The second one was a very complex and arduous task to add another storey under the existing house, a real mining exercise. This had to be completed in less than a year from our appointment to be ready for the Sydney Olympics, and it was.
Location: Point Piper, NSW
Design architect: Luigi Rosselli
Project architect: Luigi Rosselli, Emili Fox
Structural consultant: Geoff Ninnes Fong & Partners
Builder: Planet Build & Bredow
Interiors: Pia Francesca Design
Landscaper: Terragram, Vladimir Sitta
Photography: Werner Blunk & Geoff Lung