The Treasure-Filled Sydney Home Of Two Global Art Collectors
Sydney is often referred to as Australia’s Californian counterpart. This is true in more ways than one for this project by Studio Prineas, who looked at the sunshine state’s tradition of modernist architecture to inform this residential renovation on Sydney’s upper north shore. House Gezellig is designed to be the forever home for a retired pair of global travellers. Working within the original dwelling’s footprint, the new house is complete with details specific to the clients’ interests and hobbies, such as a custom-built martini bar and a display nook for a collection of Delftware objects. As well as an entry foyer specifically designed for the couple’s art collection!
The owners of this home in Sydney’s upper north shore looked to a lifetime of global travel as the influence for their renovation designed by Studio Prineas.
‘Having lived in the Netherlands for many years, both Patrick and Elizabeth were enamored by the concept of Gezellig/Gezelligheid — a Dutch word that is difficult to describe but is best translated as a general and abstract sensation of individual wellbeing that one typically shares with others,’ explains principal architect, Eva-Marie Prineas.
They wanted space to unite their collections of art and mid-century furniture – but they did not want more floor space. Instead, they engaged Studio Prineas to redesign the layout of their home in a more functional arrangement.
The previous design saw the communal living spaces at the centre sandwiched between bedrooms at either end. Studio Prineas reconciled these disparate zones, pushing the three bedrooms to the front of the house to abut multiple new courtyards and a car port, leaving the communal zones at the centre of the house.
Eva-Marie and her team approached the brief by continuing with the material expression of the original house. They found matching bricks to re-use again in the new additions, and added fresh breeze blocks to continue with the modernist-inspired palette.
Inspired by architectural work of Craig Ellwood and Pierre Koenig, Studio Prineas devised House Gezellig. They retained the design language of these modernist masters, namely low rooflines, lofty ceilings and brick chimney structures typical of Californian architectural canon.
A travertine floor runs throughout, anchored by a statement sandstone fireplace.
‘From the minute we met our clients, we just clicked,’ says Eva-Marie. ‘Our design meetings became longer and longer as time went on, as did any site meetings with the builder, who was also incredibly passionate about creating the perfect forever home that Patrick and Elizabeth had envisaged for themselves.’
‘By the end of the process, we were all very fond of each other and there was a wonderful atmosphere of sharing and togetherness, that we recognize as “gezellig”.’
See more projects from Studio Prineas here.