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Home Tour | Nine-Square Bondi by Madeleine Blanchfield Architects

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    Madeleine Blanchfield Architects have maximised a small site by embracing the landscape and capturing the spirit of its locale, Sydney’s Bondi Beach. Designed for a cosmopolitan and adventurous client, the home incorporates influences from around the globe, including Asia, South America, North America, and of course, Australia. This multi-faceted approach is coupled with the architects’ desire to innovate on a compact floor plan and obscure the boundaries between the interiors and the garden.

    The home revolves around the concept of an ‘outdoor room’ on the upper floor, where the indoor and outdoor spaces merge into one expansive, light-filled space. The space is lined in Havwoods timber floorboards.

    The kitchen features a striking island bench made of Artedomus marble, the Artek 64 bar stool, Fisher & Paykel appliances, the Artemide Nesso taple lamp, and the Alexander Lervik Luna pendant. Ceramic artwork by Ben Mazey; painting by Brendan Huntley; marble palm tree sculpture by Alex Seton.

    The dining space features vintage Charlotte Perriand dining chairs and an Atelier Vime wicker pendant.

    With a brief to create an “urban oasis” that offered both a connection to the street and privacy, Nine-Square Bondi called for a combination of out-of-the-box thinking and expertise in site planning. “Our open-minded clients were prepared to let go of typical compositions of a home and replace them with philosophies around community and family life,” Madeleine says. Central to the approach was an ‘outdoor room’ on the top floor, where the main living spaces connect to the leafy streetscape and an upper-level courtyard

    Prioritising light, openness and connection to the landscape, the expansive ‘outdoor room’ questions the idea that living spaces and gardens belong on the ground floor of buildings and that indoor and outdoor spaces are independent of one another. “Flipping the layout initially felt challenging, but this bold design supports the natural rhythms of our beach-side days,” the client testifies. “Among the bustle of Bondi, our home feels like a sanctuary where the boundary between inside and out is blurred by luscious greenery.”

    The living space features the Arflex 9000 sofa, Isokon T46 coffee table, ClassiCon Materia long table, Vitra Akari 1A table lamp, and a plaster side table by Opt Studio.

    Artwork by William Mackinnon; pink bookshelf by Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro.

    A central landscaped courtyard floods the upper level in natural light and provides a verdant backdrop for the colourful interiors.

    At two storeys high, the home is designed to be “relatable to the public domain” compared to its four-to-five-storey neighbours. The first floor’s concrete exterior references Brutalist architecture, which is echoed in the interiors in the form of a concrete spiral staircase. This sculptural addition is visible from the street and marks the transition from the heavy, concrete-clad lower block to the lighter, open-plan upper block. “The layering of the home’s secluded base and partially opaque upper level mirrors a wider layering of different places and influences throughout the interiors,” Madeleine says. 

    Having visited and lived in several overseas locations, the clients wanted the interiors to represent their past lives through art, objects and furniture. Flavours of Hong Kong, Brazil, Los Angeles and Sydney are woven throughout, resulting in a distinctive language of colour and eclecticism. The client’s art collection is particularly noteworthy and includes pieces by local and international artists. 

    The primary bathroom enjoys a private view of the garden. The space features a Gareth Ashton freestanding bath and the India Mahdavi Bishop stool.

    The guest bathroom is characterised by terrazzo, zellige tiles and aged-brass tapware. The space also features a Rose Uniacke plaster shell wall light.

    The master ensuite features an Artedomus custom marble vanity and the Apparatus Talisman Loop sconce.

    The master bedroom features the De La Espada Carlton bed and Classon bedside table, crisp white linen bedsheets, a Society Limonta throw, and a Rose Uniacke wall light.

    Nine-Square Bondi is structured as two boxes stacked on top of each other; the lower concrete-clad box is the heavy and secluded, while the upper box is light and exposed to the street.

     

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