Project Name: Ancient Gridwork

Location: Sydney, Australia

Date completed: December 2018

Interior Designer: Blainey North

Inspired by the client’s travels to Europe, the brief was to create a grand family home which dealt with the sloping contour and difficult nature of the waterfront site. Influenced by the planning principles of alignment and space the architectural design referenced the texts of the Shilpa Shastra which imbued a strict rigour which was implemented using a grid system. Combined with a nod to 20th Century French Architecture.

A central spiral staircase connects each level, featuring a bold black lacquer stair rail that follows a white French panelled wall detail up each floor. An abundance of natural light echoes through each floor through the steel framed decorative skylight.

The lower ground of the residence features a vast voluminous corridor that leads down a series of steps to a grand ballroom-like entertaining area. Clad in a rich antique stone-like wall covering it acts to give a sense of scale to the Gatsby style bar, featuring French panelling, Calacatta marble and bevelled glass mirror. Rich tones of Macassar Ebony, champagne gold case pieces, silk rugs and deep purple and navy-blue velvets ooze luxury and evoke the decadence and luxury of the Jazz Age.

The central staircase which acts as a connector between the stepped architectural design is a key design aspect of the project due to its sheer 3-storey scale and perfectly curved edges. Featuring a grand skylight directly above, natural light provides a glow that reflects the black lacquer stair rail and white French panelled walls.

What is so special about this residence is the transformative experience of journeying though the residence vertically. As one enters you are greeted by a vast lobby that leads to a formal grand staircase, yet adjacent sits a classically simple yet charming kitchen and informal living areas.

French-style arches provide a privacy threshold where its occupiers can enjoy the waterfront outlook whilst also remaining concealed from neighbouring buildings and inquisitive people on boats passing by.

Blainey North is inspired by old-makers and artisans of a bygone era of European architecture where considerable time and hand-workmanship created extraordinary buildings, which to this day remain timeless and relevant. When designing this residence, the same attention was applied, where countless respected members of design, construction and the engineering community were engaged to deliver the meticulous panelling and moulding.