An Elevated Pavilion – Darling Point Residence by Madeleine Blanchfield Architects
The reworking of an existing top-floor apartment sees a prefabricated pavilion added to embrace its enviable location and expansive outlook. Madeleine Blanchfield Architects fuses a calming and minimal approach with highly detailed and refined elements that elevate the residential experience.
Located in Sydney’s Darling Point, the residence of the same name sits atop a 1960s apartment building and opportunistically embraces its outpost. Its access to enviable views was already inherent and the addition of a rooftop pavilion further elevates this outlook. The new is an offering of contrasts, both in materiality and composition, creating a unique and light-filled residence.
Contrasting with the characteristic charm of the original building, the renovation and expansion of Darling Point Residence takes on a decidedly more contemporary approach. Extending upward, the rooftop pavilion sits contrasting the heavy-weighted brick building it sits upon. The decision to extend upward allowed the further opening up of the home to a floor-to-ceiling glazed structure, connecting the interior to uninterrupted extensive views and to an equally expansive outdoor terrace. Joining the floors is an open and light-filled stair, with open risers to allow a physical and visual openness throughout. Prefabricated from steel and glass off-site, the new addition was carefully transported and lifted into place to avoid the disruption that major construction would have caused to the building below. Meanwhile, the majority of the work that took place within the existing building was completed with the use of an onsite crane, further adding to the complexities.
The crispness of materiality and finish proposes a home of precision, calm and purposed deliberation. The owners wanted a subdued aesthetic, one of devoid of clutter and retrained in its palette similar to what they had experienced previously living in Singapore. To avoid the home becoming stark and devoid of character, earthy and textured elements within a comparable tone were adopted. The resulting home is one built on subtlety and contrasts, where concealed storage offered by custom-built joinery obscures the less visually appealing supporting elements. Objects and furniture with personality add depth to the pale timber floors and joinery and white painted surfaces.
Darling Point Residence embraces its location and strategically uses the best of its existing, while interweaving new elements with a restrained and minimal approach. Madeleine Blanchfield Architects has navigated the challenging brief with seeming ease and created a home of calm, while also being bold in an enduring way.