Astor Apartment by Madeleine Blanchfield Architects

  • First hitting headlines as Sydney’s tallest apartment building in the early 1920s, the prestigious ‘Astor’ now boasts an apartment renovation by Madeleine Blanchfield Architects.

    The Astor in central Sydney was designed by Esplin and Mould in the early 1920s, as a distinguished 13-storey Interwar Free Classical style apartment complex. Home to a hoard of A-listers and high profile residents over the years, the historically significant building is now attracting attention with the latest intervention by Madeleine Blanchfield Architects. Lapping up views of the Sydney Opera House, this Astor apartment has levelled up with immaculate detail and reputable design objects. 

    Madeleine Blanchfield Architects (MBA) were tasked with updating the layout of the Astor apartment, while accentuating its heritage features and second-to-none Sydney harbour views. Because of the building’s historical significance, the design team weren’t able to make large structural changes, but careful alterations with heritage sensitivity. 

    When MBA’s design team first addressed the apartment, it had a tiny separate kitchen, tired old bathroom and had experienced dubious tinkering over the years. These shortfalls were immediately met with a bathroom re-do, opening up of the kitchen area and introduction of a discrete laundry.

    MBA created a curvaceous entry foyer and threaded all the airy spaces together with sheer curtains and inbuilt lighting troughs. The studio also restored elements such as skirting, stained the timber flooring and highlighted the curved wall ceiling junctions and existing steel-frame windows with all-white walls.

    The existing reinforced concrete frame made any intervention and lighting difficult, but MBA were able to successfully incorporate feature lighting and built-in joinery. Kitchen joinery is subtle and smart, maximising every square metre of storage space available.

    Madeleine Blanchfield Architects selected top-tier furniture and fittings for the apartment, spanning icons such as the CH20 Elbow Chairs by Hans J Wegner for Carl Hansen from Cult Design, HT112 Chair by Henry Timi from vboaustralia and the Tulip dining table by Eero Saarinen. Refined lighting choices include the IC Light Suspension by Michael Anastassiades and the Roy Lettera Floor Lamp by Mario Nanni for Viabizzuno from vboaustralia.

    Thanks to Madeleine Blanchfield Architects, the Astor apartment beams with a renewed sense of distinction, gently appreciating its historic bones and unparalleled vistas.

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