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Architecture

This beautiful apartment in Sydney was formerly a warehouse

Architecture Inspiration

In Sydney, an old tea factory originally built in the 1920s has been repurposed to have a stunning 300-square-metre on the top two floors.

Located in the suburb of Surry Hills, the Edwards & Co building had recently been used as an office for an ad agency before architect Josephine Hurley breathed new life into it.

Her design features modern elements carefully balancing out the building’s historic details. For instance, a neutral palette of warm gray, timber, and smooth white was integrated with the arched windows and original brick façade.

The upper floor, meanwhile, was the caretaker’s office before it was demolished and turned into a cosy rooftop guesthouse.

“The project is not only sustainable, it’s recycled and it’s full of charm and character. The warehouse is embraced and the conversion lets the layers of history enrich the interiors,” said Hurley. “The finished apartment is calm, livable and welcoming.”

We spoke to Josephine Hurley to find out more about this stunning abode.

Tell us a little about the client/s – who are they and what (if anything) is unique about them?

“The client has a degree in Architecture so we instantly had a connection through our shared backgrounds and respect for the iconic building in which her apartment covered the top 2 floors.”

What was the apartment like when you made your first site visit?

“It was hard to look past the beautiful arched windows, however, the upper 2 floors had been home to an advertising agency most recently and where in need of a lot of love. The space definitely had a lot of potential!”

What was the client brief?

“The client brief was to convert the upper-level office space into a private residence and replace the former rooftop caretaker’s flat with a new guest retreat, complete with sauna and private courtyard. The brief focused heavily on the notions of comfort, practicality and respect for the building. The client wanted the architecture to be a backdrop that would facilitate everyday living and transform depending on who was there.”

What was the design concept?

“The design concept employs a collection of restrained and understated installations to uncover, retain and celebrate the existing heritage fabric of the building. For the installations, a highly-considered, minimal material palette of warm grey, timber, and smooth white integrated surfaces were selected for their cost-effectiveness, but also for durability and practicality.”

What is/was unique or interesting about the site of the project?

“The site had very difficult access with the rear lane too narrow for a crane and the heritage significance meant that craning over the front facade was out of the question. The builder designed and built a custom pulley system and all of the building materials were slowly pulled up to the roof deck. Being a heritage item meant that no new fixings or wall chasing could be made into the existing building fabric.”

You can find out more about Josephine Hurley and her work here.

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