Lectures & Events

Sydney’s Finest Architecture – with Stephen Crafti – Saturday 1 July 2017

1 Jul 2017
  • Sydney

 Featuring:

  • ‘The Shed': Richard Peters & Heidi Dokulil’s Randwick House
  • Architect William Smart’s office and apartment in Surry Hills
  • The Seidler offices and top-floor apartments with Mr John Zhao, Harry Seidler & Associates
  • Architect Luigi Rosselli’s Mosman House
Richard Peters’ Randwick House, Sydney, Australia - photo by Justin Alexander
Richard Peters’ Randwick House, Sydney, Australia – photo by Justin Alexander

Date: Saturday 1 July 2017

Time: 0900 – 1730hrs


Stephen-CraftiStephen Crafti is a leading Architecture & Design Writer. With more than 40 books to his name and writing for Australia’s leading newspapers and magazines, including the Sydney Morning HeraldThe Age and The Australian Financial Review, Crafti is highly regarded in his field. Whether it’s writing about a contemporary home or a design luminary, Crafti makes the subject both intriguing and highly accessible. He started writing on architecture and design in the early 1990s, after purchasing a modernist 1950s home. “I’ve always been drawn to design, whether it’s a building, an interior, a beautifully crafted chair or fashion. I’m fascinated with the stories behind each creation. I never stop looking. It’s a continual search for the best in design, whether in Australia or overseas”.


The Itinerary

0900hrs: Meet your hosts, Stephen and Naomi Crafti, outside the Sheraton on the Park at 161 Elizabeth St, Sydney, and board your coach (with Murray Coaches).

‘The Shed': Richard Peters & Heidi Dokulil’s Randwick House
At 0910hrs sharp, we depart for St Paul’s Lane, Randwick. If you ever needed proof that good things come in small packages, a tour through The Shed will convince you. At just 74 square metres in area, The Shed is a world away from the McMansions of the suburbs, and a lesson in how all of us can learn to live with less. A farrier’s workshop in the 1890s, The Shed has become a compact but comfortable dwelling, an exemplar of successful adaptive re-use, which addresses sustainability and Sydney’s growing need for houses with a smaller footprint. The Shed utilises a simple palette of materials – plywood, steel and brickwork – as both structure and finish. Entry is via a sliding zinc door that buffers the laneway. The living/dining area maintains the building’s original 6-metre high volume and a new courtyard garden opens up the northern wall, allowing light to penetrate the interior. Bathroom/bedroom insertions are set back further within the building to create a second north-facing courtyard, providing light and ventilation to all rooms. The Shed was awarded first place in the Alterations & Additions category of the Randwick City Council Urban Design Awards in 2010 and highly commended for both Adaptive Re-use & Sustainability, and in 2011 won the Australian Houses Award for Alterations and Additions under 200 square metres.

Architect William Smart’s office and apartment in Surry Hills
Originally two Victorian terraces with rear stables that were used as a boarding house, this development is now studio and home for its director architect William Smart. Recipient of an Architecture Award from the Australian Institute of Architects (New South Wales) in 2006, the existing shell of the building has been retained with new large vertical openings cut through to reveal a layer of glass louvres. Both old and new features are beautifully expressed in this project. The apartment is simple with living and sleeping areas separated by an island pod that contains many of the apartment’s services.

The Seidler offices and top-floor apartments with Mr John Zhao, Harry Seidler & Associates
The Seidler offices and top-floor apartments were developed in three stages. The first building (no. 2 Glen Street) was completed in 1973. It is an 11-metre clear span office building of prestressed expressively profiled T-beams with vertical exterior concrete sun blades. The first addition (no. 2A Glen Street), completed in 1988, extends the offices on the lower floors and adds a penthouse apartment on top. Entry to the penthouse is via a space two storeys high, with a presentation theatre and facilities for entertaining. A half-elliptical Indian granite dining table allows guests to sit at the curved side of the table so that they can see the splendid water view; the hosts sit on the opposite side, facing their guests. A curved stair leads to the upper floor lounge, study and master bedroom suite. Within the straight outline plan, flowing curves enrich the open interior. Artworks are colourful in contrast to the neutral grey, white and black interior.
Please note: Photography inside the Seidler office/penthouse is strictly prohibited! Photos taken outside of building from the street,  or from the balcony with harbour view are ok but not of inside the premise or office.

Architect Luigi Rosselli’s Mosman House

Metropolitan Sydney is built upon a shelf of Hawkesbury sandstone and this house, referred to as The Books House in PerspectivesThirty Years of Sketches, has been built on an outcrop of this shelf. The design of the house draws its inspiration both from this geological formation and from the initial meeting with the Clients, who extracted three books from a bag and placed them one on top of the other at acute angles to illustrate their vision. The resulting home comprises two concrete levels (the books), that call to mind the large slabs of stone that can be seen on Sydney Harbour’s headlands, resting on a lower level ‘plinth’ of sandstone. Significant and delicate excavation of the steep sandstone site needed to be undertaken by the Builder in order to provide lift access from the garage level. The stone, which was saw cut from the site to minimise vibration impact on the neighbouring property, was reused by the stonemason to build the retaining wall that contains the stepped garden. A ‘dragon’ path meanders from the front gate to the lower level entry. When you step inside a comfortable spiral stair invites you to climb two storeys through the bedroom level to the living level at the top of the house. To the front of the house, wide balconies take in the Sydney harbour vista, to the rear of the house on the top floor, large windows open out onto a smaller garden flanked by an existing solid rock face which reflects off a private swimming pool. This home holds many surprises and we encourage visitors to take the path of discovery to witness them for themselves.

1730hrs: We are scheduled to arrive back at the Sheraton on the Park.


Bookings Essential

COST: $230.00 AUD incl. light lunch & GST

RESERVATIONS: Please book online, or contact ASA on: (03) 9822 6899, Freecall 1800 645755 (outside Melbourne Metro) or email:  [email protected]

MEETING PT: 0900hrs outside the Sheraton on the Park, 161 Elizabeth Street, Sydney

CANCELLATION50% cancellation fee per person prior to 20 June, 100% cancellation fee per person from 21 June (ie payment is non refundable)

Notes on Access & Meals: Due to restricted coach access, a number of the sites we visit involve walking between 100 and 500m from the coach drop-off point. In some of the properties we visit, removing shoes upon entry would be greatly appreciated. A boxed lunch is provided. ASA will email participants to enquire if they have any dietary requirements.

2AGlenApt-05Photo-by-Max-Dupain-November-1988
2A Glen Apartment. Photo by Max Dupain November 1988. Copyright Penelope Seidler

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