Kitchen Closeup | Hall 20 by Smart Design Studio

  • Enter Smart Design Studio’s boutique apartment building, Hall 20 – a slick and sophisticated extension of the original Bondi Post Office.

    Located on a corner block just metres away from Bondi Beach, Hall 20 by Smart Design Studio encompasses 10 apartments with retail space below. The project saw the Smart Design Studio team introduce high-quality, rigorous finishes to articulate a timeless aesthetic sympathetic to the existing building. 

    At the core of the Hall 20 apartments is the kitchen, starring in our milestone 40th issue of est Magazine. We caught up with Smart Design Studio head of interiors, Aaron Wooster, to learn more about design thinking behind this space and how they resolved client expectations to set a new standard of excellence for kitchens outside of single homes. 

    Produced in partnership with Gaggenau

    A matt finish runs through all elements of the kitchen – from the Vola KV1 Kitchen Mixer, Barazza sink, to the Gaggenau Vario 400 series gas cooktop, 200 series oven and 200 series combi-steam oven in Anthracite.

    The sculptural kitchen is wrapped in Dekton Sirius solid surfaces in matt finish and CDK Studio Nero Marquina honed marble.

    The Hall 20 apartment interior is a classic, detailed interpretation of the exterior, exerted in the kitchen form. “Our approach to the design was to create an element that was monolithic and calm in form, yet tactile for enjoyed everyday use,” Aaron reflects. “Located within an apartment building that features splaying on the corner, the angled underside of the island bench is an interpretation of this external language,” he adds. 

    Smart Design Studio specified materials to reflect the exterior and instil a sense of decadence and detail in the apartment. Appling a restrained lens, Smart Design Studio introduced limestone floors throughout with off-white walls, doors and trims, concealed lighting and full-height doors.

    The kitchen is a moment of contrast. Matt black Dekton Sirius and CDK Stone Nero Marquina marble surfaces dramatically interrupt the subdued scheme, coupled with matt fixtures and appliances. The stone forms a central column in the space; Smart Design Studio used only two stone pieces to let the veining run seamlessly across pulls and junctions.

    The joinery’s recessed custom pulls let the materials really sing, just as discreet lighting highlights the stone benchtop and splashback. “We agonised over the lighting approach to ensure the kitchen needed no downlights or ceiling lights. The effect is monolithic gestures that are subtly illuminated by intimate pools of light,” Aaron says. 

    The Gaggenau Vario 400 series gas cooktop sits flush in the marble benchtop with control dials mounted on the vertical plane.

     “Our approach to the design was to create an element that was monolithic and calm in form, yet tactile for enjoyed everyday use.”


    – Aaron Wooster

    Creating timelessly functional spaces, Aaron says, requires operable elements to be of the highest level. Integrated Gaggenau appliances were central to the overall kitchen concept in Hall 20, adding to the streamlined look and feel of the space. “Gaggenau appliances are renowned for being aesthetically refined and, importantly, have outstanding performance,” he says.

    The Gaggenau Vario 400 series gas cooktop sits flush with the stone benchtop, with the control dials mounted on the vertical plane, leaving the benchtop clear. The Gaggenau 200 series built-in oven and 200 series combi-steam oven in Anthracite sit side-by-side directly behind the island bench, completing the at-home chef experience. It’s this treatment, Aaron Wooster says, that creates a new standard for multi-residential kitchen design.

    Aaron says the committed nature of the client and Smart Design Studio’s determination to exceed expectations are what define Hall 20. “It’s resulted in an outcome we feel truly sentimental about,” he says. He is proud to admit that Hall 20 raises the bar for home design in Bondi Beach. This is no more apparent than in the kitchen, where Smart Design Studio have left no stone unturned in their meticulous approach to material and form. As Aaron puts it; “Exceptional attention to detail with great people, what more could you ask for?”

    Smart Design Studio maximised passive solar design in their Hall 20 project, harnessing natural daylight and cross ventilation.

    Limestone flooring makes its way into every space, including in the bathroom, paired with warm porcelain wall tiles and bronze fixtures that play on the door hardware used.

    “The interiors are a highly resolved interpretation of the exterior and the design for the kitchen form takes on this approach.”


    –  Aaron Wooster

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