Blue Musings – Apartment in Double Bay by Architect George

Words by Millie Thwaites
Architecture by Architect George
Photography by Joanne Ly
Interior Design by Architect George
Stone & Tiles by Artedomus
Apartment In Double Bay By Architect George Issue 12 Feature The Local Project Image (25)

Apartment in Double Bay by Architect George is an extensive renovation of an existing dwelling within a 1970s-era residential building in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. While compact in size, the apartment – which is located on significant heritage-listed gardens – expresses a charm that belies its scale, orientation and typology.

Having lived in the apartment for nearly 30 years, the clients, who had worked with Architect George on a previous residential project, approached the team to reimagine their Double Bay home. As the studio’s Director, Dean Williams, says, working within the constraints of the existing building was challenging, yet it ultimately helped to define the brief, which was driven by the pursuit of light, colour and space. “The existing apartment didn’t get a lot of natural light and, given this was an internal fit out, it meant there wasn’t a lot we could do,” he recalls. “The clients were determined to work with the existing and find ways we could bring in joy and make it special even if we couldn’t change the light quality or floor plan.” Framing and capturing views of the spectacular surrounding gardens was imperative. Thus, the architects have considered sightlines as part of the internal experience, leaning on the beauty and expansiveness of the landscape to create a sense of space and generosity within.

The New Volumes Pitcher table and stools by Adam Goodrum for Artedomus, and the Echo High and Low tables and Cove chair by Thomas Coward, also for Artedomus, are earthy and grounding against the apartment’s enduring blue hues.

Alongside enhancing the apartment’s access to natural light, elements such as colour and texture formed a large part of the brief, and Architect George’s bold approach to both has resulted in a space with a distinct energy. Dean says, “the clients had a particular interest in the colours associated with mid-century modern architecture, in particular, blue.” This vibrant shade has been harnessed with confidence, and it emerges frequently throughout the space with lighting, finishes and textiles all following the expressiveness of the mid-century-inspired blue hue. “We’ve stuck with the single tone throughout the apartment, and it’s picked up in fabric, tiles and joinery so rather than playing with colours we’ve played with texture,” Dean offers. “There’s glossy, matte and velvet surfaces, softer fabric surfaces and just generally different textures to create a point of interest in different rooms.”

In addition, sculptural joinery elements are coated in a high-gloss blue paint, the curtains are a heavy blue velvet, and the kitchen splashback is crafted from Le Corbusier LCS1 Bleu Outremer tiles, available exclusively from Artedomus. Not only is the deep blue hue of these lacquered tiles the perfect complement to the apartment’s palette, as a clear nod to the work of modernist master Le Corbusier, it speaks back to an authentic interpretation of the project’s considered points of reference.

In the kitchen, the Artedomus Opus Rosso natural stone is captivating in its bold red hue, bringing depth to the overall palette.

While the blue hue is consistent, it is anything but overwhelming with thanks to a selection of complementary materials such as light oak timber floorboards, brass detailing and light grey tiles. Among these materials, the Artedomus Opus Rosso – a natural stone with detailed veining and deep red tones which appears across the kitchen counters – is most striking. As Dean says, “the Opus Rosso was inspired by the brick building the apartment sits within.” He adds, “there’s a strong contrast between the splashback and benchtop, and it’s bold seeing those materials side by side, but we love it.”

This sentiment speaks back to the driving force behind this project, which, while grounded in sophistication and refinement, is in fact punchy and playful. “There’s a sense of drama,” Dean reflects. “In every room, there’s something unexpected – whether that’s bringing the garden further into the apartment or catching a view to a glossy piece of blue joinery – as you experience the space, you get these elements of drama. It’s joyful and pleasantly unexpected.”