Madeleine and her team at Madeleine Blanchfield Architects (MBA) recently refurbished an existing 1950s house in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs for an art-loving young family of five. The client wanted to ‘fix’ the dark, disconnected parts of the south-facing house, and create a home that embodied the family’s unique character.
Their client’s brief was a 17th century lithograph of five little fish with human faces swimming “Marvels Of Things Created and Miraculous Aspects Of Things Existing”. The notion was to create a home that was whimsical, calm, inspiring, slightly quirky and deeply personal.
They gutted the existing house, leaving only the structural columns and beams. They created huge windows onto external courtyards and removed most of the walls to flood the spaces with light. The problem with removing walls is that there is nowhere to hang art. This became the driving concept and approach behind the design – bringing art into the architecture. Every piece of art and furniture was designed, or selected and placed in intense collaboration with the owners, artists, curators and craftsmen. As a result, the house has the cohesiveness and the wholeness of something that belongs to its owners and whose contents belong to it (Published with Bowerbird).
Photography : Prue Ruscoe