close

CRAFTED PAST: A CLASSIC 1912 APARTMENT IS RE-BORN

CRAFTED PAST: A CLASSIC 1912 APARTMENT IS RE-BORN

KC090311001

SHATTERED BY A 30-hour-long and difficult flight from Paris, the owners-to-be of this apartment were sitting in a café “with their eyes hanging out”, as they describe it, “like zombies” while flicking distractedly through a local paper left on the table. And there it was …

The professional thirty-something couple had been living overseas on-and-off for years – the last 12 months had been spent in Paris – but they had finally come home to live in Sydney Australia for good that morning.

The plan was to settle back in rental accommodation until the perfect place came on the market – and they fully expected it to be a lengthy waiting game, ostensibly because they had slimmed their ultimate wish list down to two old apartment buildings, both built early last century and both in the inner city suburb of Potts Point.

KC090311007

Top of the list was a place in the iconic and highly-sought-after Kingsclere, built in 1912. And yet, fortuitously, here in the local paper, was one of the generously-proportioned flats – ripe for renovation – going for auction in that very building in a matter of days.

“I remember thinking ‘it’s perfect, but it’s too early, one will come up again’, admits one of the owners, “and then thinking ‘what if it doesn’t?’ We had to move on it immediately,” she says.

Ten days later it was theirs.

Apart from being capable of such a hasty life-changing move, the owners share a love of the cutting-edge-for-its time design of the early 1900s. They had both lived in New York, one of them for a time in Chicago, and they had both developed a fondness for commercial Art Deco of the 1920s, together with the work of legendary architects Frank Lloyd Wright and Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

KC090311020

“We wanted to create something that wasn’t a mock reno – but something that actually could conceivably have looked like it was from 1912.”

KC090311015

KC090311018

KC090311005

Most of all though they had fallen in love with a Michigan apartment designed by Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen (son of iconic architect Eero) early last century. They loved everything about the home – its fine proportions and craftsmanship, its artwork, its furniture, its rugs.

They also knew that the bare bones of their Kingsclere apartment would provide the perfect canvas for creating an homage of sorts to Saarinen’s design – and secured the services of interior designer Darryl Gordon in league with architects Archengine — who handled the structural work — to create it.

“We wanted to create something that wasn’t a mock reno,” says Gordon, “but something that actually could conceivably have looked like it was from 1912” – not to mention also be a stylistic nod to Saarinen’s creation.

KC090311013

KC090311017

KC090311025

KC090311016

Having suffered layers of unsympathetic renovations over the years, not much of the apartment’s original detail remained. Much of the timber floor is original, the tiles above the oven are original and some of the internal doors survived, but it’s the new addition of joinery and mouldings (such as the radiator covers and the new detail around the columns) that really boost the apartment’s crafted and classic feel.

“With ultra-modern places you think ‘wow’ it’s great but then you become bored with it very quickly – there’s no detail that you can keep discovering,” say the owners explaining their love for a particular slice of the crafted past. “We don’t have all the detail we like in here yet,” he adds (meaning furnishings and artwork), “but we want to build it up over a lifetime.”

The snap decision paid off.

KC090311012

KC090311051

KC090311050

WORDS

ALEX DUPONT

VIEW MORE FROM ALEX

PHOTOGRAPHY

CONTENT AGENCY

VIEW MORE FROM CONTENT

Content Agency syndicates media content worldwide. Content offers images and feature stories by a handpicked pool of photographers, stylists and writers. Content's credo is simple: it only trades in the best. www.content-agency.com

Keep up-to-date
Get the latest content first.
We won't share your email address and we won’t bombard you with news … we'll drop you an occasional line when we have a special story to tell.
Keep up-to-date
Get the latest content first
We respect your privacy and we won’t bombard you with news … just drop you an occasional line when we have something special to share.