The following itinerary describes a range of private projects we plan to view, and a number of key designers we hope to meet. At the time of publication (September 2021) most visits had been confirmed, however a number of visits may only be confirmed closer to the tour’s departure in 2022. The daily activities described in this itinerary may change or be rotated and/or modified in order to accommodate alterations in opening hours, flight schedules and confirmation of private visits. Participants will receive a final itinerary, together with their tour documents, prior to departure. The tour includes meals indicated in the detailed itinerary where: B=Breakfast and L=lunch.
Day 1: Wednesday 18 May, Sydney: Paddington, Redfern, Alexandria & Rose Bay
Please meet in the foyer of the Paramount House Hotel at 9am.
Following a short welcome meeting, we transfer to Paddington where we meet with Simon Robert Hanson, principal architect of Bureau SRH, to view his Little Napier House which received the RAIA NSW Chapter Architecture Award for a Small Project in 2012. Here two heritage-listed terraces houses were combined to create a larger home for a growing family, and the footprint of the two houses was reduced in order to include a pool in the backyard.
Next, we visit Redfern Warehouse, a creative conversion of an inner-city warehouse by Ian Moore Architects completed in 2018. “This adaptive reuse of a former warehouse has maintained the exterior almost untouched, with only a few new windows inserted into existing openings. This soft-touch has been extended to the interior, where original brick walls have been exposed and the large timber roof trusses highlighted as the starting point for the conversion to a family home. The brief called for a 4-bedroom home, with self-contained guest accommodation, a home office, to be used as an equine genetics laboratory and a large garage space to store a collection of classic sports cars.”
Designers Louise Olsen and her life and business partner Stephen Ormandy head Dinosaur Designs. Both met at art school and initially started selling their jewellery designs at the Paddington market. They now have numerous stores worldwide including London and New York. Their resin jewellery, household objects and artefacts are all crafted in Australia. As mentioned by the couple, “Working in design is a wonderful privilege. It’s a great way to study the world. It’s a never‐ending exploration, where we’re constantly inspired by nature.” This afternoon we meet with Louise and Stephen for a presentation and tour of their studio.
In the late afternoon we meet with William Smart, Founder and Creative Director of Smart Design Studio. His buildings have received critical acclaim, many prestigious awards and have been widely published in architectural and other publications. His approach to design is holistic, combining both architectural and interior design with a passionate attention to detail. Since 1997 William has been directly involved in each project, and is continuously exploring ideas in his work relating to flexibility, contemporary living and the merging of art and architecture.
We end the day with a visit to the private home of gallerist, Sally Dan-Cuthbert in Rose Bay. Sally has most generously agreed to host us for drinks and nibbles at her home where we may view her private art and design collection. (Overnight Sydney)
Day 2: Thursday 19 May, Sydney: Bellevue Hill, Rushcutters Bay, Milsons Point, Lavender Bay & Waverton
This morning we meet with Phillip Arnold, founding director of Plus Minus Design, for a tour of Caerleon, an early example of local domestic architecture in the Queen Anne Revival style. It was built between 1885-87 for the Sydney Morning Herald proprietor Charles Burton Fairfax, a grandson of the newspaper’s founder John Fairfax. The original plans of the house were drawn up by Sydney architect Harry Kent, but were extensively reworked by Maurice Bingham Adams (1849-1933). Caerleon boasts red brick walls with stone dressing, terracotta shingles, balconies, bay windows, verandahs, lead light windows and elaborate chimneys. The interior includes elaborate chimney pieces, door cases, wainscots, friezes and ceilings, leaded lights and stained glass. Many of the fittings and materials were imported from England.
Within the heritage-listed gardens lies the well disguised Stealth Pavilion, designed by Plus Minus Design who were previously engaged for restoration works on the house proper and the relocation of the gates within the grounds. This private gym features external cladding of bronze mirrors which allow the structure to reflect the surrounding foliage, and cleverly sits within the existing grove of trees. A video of the pavilion may be viewed at The Local Project.
By appointment we visit Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert which opened in 2019. The gallery focuses on both important visual art and collectible design, representing some of the finest contemporary artists from Australia and New Zealand.
Following a light lunch at Marta Osteria we transfer to Milsons Point where we meet with architect, John Zhao from Seidler & Associates, for a private tour of the stunning penthouse apartment. A description of the penthouse is given by Sydney Living Museums: “Entry to the penthouse is into 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. Only the artworks (by Albers, Stella, Lichtenstein, Mais, Perry and Noland) are colourful in contrast to the neutral grey, white and black interior.” Please note: Photography, both inside & outside, of the Seidler Penthouse is strictly prohibited!
Next, we meet with Neil Durbach, founder of Sydney’s Durbach Block Jaggers, for a tour of Lavender Bay House which was completed in 2020. The interior was styled by author and product designer Sibella Court. The house featured in Vogue Living in May 2021:
“We wanted it to look like this almost-solid cube of stone, but then inside, it feels as if water has been percolating through the structure, eroding it organically,” explains Durbach. “Then floating above that is this friendly shadow of a roof, which we wanted to feel like a cloud.” If the architect’s poetic description doesn’t hammer it home, this Sydney residence is, for want of a better word (because no word feels quite capable of encapsulating the sheer beauty of this place), spectacular. A four-storey structure layered with garden terraces that overflow with predominantly native foliage, it’s a once-in-a-decade (or once-in-a-lifetime) type of project for the team who brought it to life.
In Waverton we meet with Richard Cole, of Richard Cole Architecture, for a tour of Angophora House which featured in ABC’s Dream Build series and in Better Homes and Gardens on Channel 7. This light-filled two storey home was built for his retiring parents on a block which featured magnificent angophoras and district views. (Overnight Sydney) BL
Day 3: Friday 20 May, Sydney: Redfern, Chippendale, Hornsby, Killara & Castlecrag
This morning we visit Adele McNab’s Riley’s Terrace which was the recipient of the NSW AIA Award for Residential Architecture (Alterations & Additions) in 2021. The jury citation states ‘Riley’s Terrace is an example of the successful balance between a tight inner-city site, modest budget, and desire for maximised flexible space. Through inventiveness, adaptability and a strong understanding of the site, the architect has delivered a small and beautiful home for herself and her family. Spaces are versatile and changeable with time and requirement, creating a distinct series of interconnected rooms which optimise their use through cleverly designed joinery, storage and materiality. Simple and elegant materials in warm muted tones carry through the home, imparting an atmosphere of calm and retreat. A tight budget has been thoughtfully allocated, with a restrained and consistent approach. A spiral stair allows for greater storage, reduced circulation and enhanced usability of the rooms.’
Following some time at leisure for lunch in Hornsby we visit Barker College to view the Rosewood Centre designed by Neeson Murcutt+Neille which received the AIA NSW William E Kemp Award for Educational Architecture in 2021. The new Sports and Learning Centre provides 5 multi-use sports courts, 12 classrooms, multi-use learning spaces, staff areas, a function room, a fitness facility, and significant car parking. The multi-level project comprises 3 main architectural elements – a light- filled Sports Hall, a canopy awning, and a carved linear building with learning areas, social spaces, and balconies all overlooking the field.
Our next visit is to the Harry and Penelope Seidler House located in Killara. Designed in 1965 and completed in 1967, this monumental house sits beside a creek and is surrounded by lush gardens. Split over four half-levels, the house is accessed by a suspended concrete bridge. Each half-level provides glimpses to the next level and to the garden beyond. Concrete walls with exposed timber grain beckon to be touched, as do the exquisite bluestone feature walls encasing fireplaces. This house is without doubt one of the most captivating homes not just in Australia, but also worldwide. Recipient of numerous awards including the Wilkinson Award, it is one of many architectural legacies left by architects Harry and Penelope Seidler. Please note: Photography, both inside & outside, of the Seidler home is strictly prohibited!
We end the day with a visit to Seed House in Castlecrag, the home of architect, John Fitzpatrick. This award-winning home which featured in Habitus Living is positioned on a typical Castlecrag steep bushland block overlooking Middle Harbour. Surrounded by rocky outcrops and angophora trees, the home grows out of its natural surroundings which informed it choices of materials – stone, timber, steel and concrete. (Overnight Sydney) B
Day 4: Saturday 21 May, Sydney– Balmain East – Birchgrove – Glebe – Thirroul – Kiama
This morning we begin with a visit to the home of architect Brian Zulaikha, director of Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects, and his partner, well‐known artist Janet Laurence. This extraordinary home was originally a gunpowder store, circa 1918. Zulaikha extended the bunker‐like space, now the kitchen, in the 1990s with an extra room downstairs together with a second level. He worked with builder Drew Heath, now also an architect in creating this unique house that has a strong Japanese feel. Highlights include the unusual compactus‐style dressing area and the wonderful concrete bathroom framed by a bamboo courtyard. The Japanese‐style garden that greets visitors is memorable.
Brian will also show us Birchgrove House which received the AIA NSW Architecture award for Residential Architecture (Houses Alteration and Additions) in 2021.
The clients approached Brian Zulaikha, several months after a visit to his home in Balmain. Drawn to the house’s rich materiality and connection to the natural environment, the couple asked Brian if he would design their own home; a run-down, Victorian era, harbour front in neighbouring Birchgrove. Despite the house’s dilapidated and slightly ramshackle appearance, its character shone through to the clients and a brief was developed to retain as much of the original fabric as possible. This respectful embrace of the existing building’s quirks defined the project’s conceptual framework and construction methodology. The house itself is a rich, textural composition of charred timber, concrete, brick, copper and spotted gum timber panelling and cannot be understood without reference to its garden. Tiered landscaping on every level enables cascading Australian native vegetation to drape over intricately detailed balustrading; working with the vision of minimising “house” and maximising “landscape”.
Following some time at leisure for lunch in Balmain, Joe Agius, Director of Cox Architecture, takes us inside his reconfigured terrace home in Glebe which references Moroccan riads and the pleasures of a central garden. “The design for the house embraces the ideal of adaptability – it is designed to ‘transform’ easily between three modes – single generous 4-bedroom home, two 2-bedroom homes, and a large 2-bedroom home with a separate studio. This adaptability is designed-in – including all building services – it challenges the ‘fixed’ way in which design our housing stock, potentially addressing challenges of housing affordability.” His home was featured in Australian Design Review in March 2021. Joe has been a Director of COX since 2005 and has led the design of many award-winning buildings including the Sir John Monash Centre, and more recently has worked on the Australian Museum’s Project Discover (a collaboration with Neeson Murcutt + Neille), and the University of Sydney’s new Faculty of Engineering Building.
We then depart Sydney and journey south to the seaside suburb of Thirroul where we visit the private studio of Trent Jansen. Trent is a multi award-winning designer and Lecturer at the University of New South Wales Art & Design. He designs limited edition one-off pieces for the Molonglo Group and Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert, and exhibits internationally with Gallery All and Galleria Rossana Orlandi. He also designs products and furniture for Moooi, DesignByThem and Tait. Trent has also exhibited at numerous national and international galleries and design events including the National Gallery of Victoria, London Design Museum, Design Miami, Art+Design in New York City, Art Gallery of South Australia, the Triennale Di Milano and The Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art in Beijing.
In the late afternoon we depart Thirroul and continue to the coastal town of Kiama where we will be based for 2 nights. (Overnight Kiama) B
Day 5: Sunday 22 May, Kiama – Kangaroo Valley – Bellawongarah – Bangalee – Illaroo – Kiama
This morning we visit Kangaroo Valley House, the home of Nick Turner, Principal and Founder of Turner+Associates Architects. The project was filmed in 2019 as part of the ‘Designer Notes’ series produced for AWS to showcase Australian design. Originally designed over 15 years ago, Nick expanded the property by adding a stunning new ‘wing’ which ensures that the surrounding landscape is the undeniable star. During our visit we hear the incredible story of how in November 2020 when the area was engulfed by fire, the house was saved thanks to its carefully designed ‘halo’ watering system which covered the home with an umbrella of water, powered entirely by the robust off-grid power system.
Nearby in Bellawongarah we visit Merindah Park House designed by Richard Cole. This beautifully crafted house, centred on a courtyard garden, has a strong sculptural feel.
Lunch will be provided at the Cambewarra Estate Winery which lies at the foothills of the majestic Cambewarra Mountain in the Shoalhaven Coast wine region.
This afternoon is devoted to visiting Bundanon, the home of painter Arthur Boyd. Boyd purchased Riversdale on the banks of the Shoalhaven River near Bundanon in the early 1970s and proceed to add buildings to create a home and studio. It was here that he painted a series of large, iconic Shoalhaven images based on the river and surrounding bush. In 1993 Arthur and Yvonne Boyd gifted Bundanon (which included three properties: Bundanon, Riversdale and Earie & Beeweeree) to the nation and the Bundanon Trust was established. A new arts complex situated on the Riversdale property is due to be completed in 2021. Designed by Kerstin Thompson Architects, the complex will include a world-class creative learning centre for school students, a contemporary visitor hub, accommodation, and a light-filled contemporary art gallery – partially buried into the landscape. This new art museum will house the Trust’s Arthur Boyd art collection which includes an extensive collection of artworks by Arthur Boyd and his family, Sidney Nolan, Brett Whiteley, Joy Hester and Charles Blackmam.
In the late afternoon we return to Kiama where the evening is at leisure. (Overnight Kiama) BL
Day 6: Monday 23 May, Kiama – Berrima – Joadja – Glenmore – Sydney Airport
This morning we depart Kiama for Joadja. En route we take a short coffee break in the historic village of Berrima. Featuring a number of colonial sandstone buildings, it is considered one of the best-preserved Georgian villages in Australia.
One of the highlights of our program will be this morning’s visit to the Harry Seidler-designed Berman House (now referred to as the ‘Seidler House’) which was built for Mr and Mrs Peter Berman in 1999 at an estimated cost of around $6 million. This award-winning home sits on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Wingecarribee River, its living room views stretching over forest and the rippling valleys of Joadja. This was one of the last private residences Harry Seidler worked on before his death in 2006. Internally the house uses a range of exquisite materials including local stone, Alta quartzite, Verde marina granite and Norwegian stone. There is also a massive expanse of glass used to frame the magnificent surrounding views, open fireplaces, spacious decking areas, landscaped gardens and a large outdoor swimming pool.
From Joadja we continue our journey north through the Southern Highlands to Glenmore House where we will enjoy a farewell long table lunch hosted by Mickey Robertson. Formerly an interior designer, Mickey has established incredible gardens which surround a Victorian homestead which she and her husband, Larry, purchased in 1988.
From Glenmore we continue to the Sydney Airport where our tour will officially conclude at approximately 5.00pm. BL