Lena Residence by Smart Design Studio

  • A five-storey Victorian terrace in Sydney’s Paddington is transformed through a light-filled tower and modern addition by Smart Design Studio.

    Sydney interior and architecture practice Smart Design Studio were entrusted with the sensitive renovation and extension of Lena, a grand 1880s home, undertaking their third project for their long-term client. The studio’s careful approach through scale and proportion creates a gentle dialogue between the existing and the new, with an underlying sense of quiet luxury.

    While appealing from the exterior, the home lacked adequate light, ventilation and flow – the key elements that informed the contemporary rear extension and light-filled circulation tower. Smart Design Studio founder and creative director William Smart says that he and his team took to the streets of Paddington to find a material that paired with the painted rendered walls of the suburb. “For us, there was no material other than brick for the new addition,” William says. “We felt this Corso brick had the softness that the street needed and perfectly complemented the simple blocky forms.”

    Inside the home, the studio have retained key period details like the ornate moldings, fireplaces and sculpted doorways, fusing them with a considered material palette of waxed rendered walls, grey terrazzo tiles and pale oak timber flooring, creating an easy transition between the old and the new.

    The kitchen, dining and living room are positioned in the new rear double-height extension, retaining the original layout of the terrace, while the bedrooms, bathrooms, music room and study occupy the old part of the house. The newly-added tower contains a grand sweeping staircase and a lift, connecting both parts of the home as one.

    William describes Lena as a building where old and new fit together like hand and glove. “You see remnants of old and parts of new together in a subtle way, so they aren’t playing against each other, where the shiny and new makes the old look crumbly,” he says.

    The bedroom features the AJ Table Light designed by Arne Jacobsen for Louis Poulsen and 400 Armchair ‘Tank’, designed by Alvar Aalto for Artek.

    Freestanding cavities in the bathroom are clad in marble, with Brodware City Stik tapware in Aged Iron.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Enquire Now