Grounded Openness – Danmark Point Piper by Michiru Higginbotham
Honouring the heritage of the existing mansion it sits within, Danmark Point Piper fuses an enduring respect for the previous iteration with an optimistic outlook for what is to come. Michiru Higginbotham optimises the enviable positioning of the home, with views stretching out over Sydney Harbour, to connect beyond the building envelope and bring elements of the surrounds inward.
As a complete reworking of the interior, Danmark Point Piper breathes new life into the heritage-listed building, reorienting views and openings to ensure a more contemporary idea of connection is overlaid throughout. As a celebration of its location and outlook, views are oriented outward, particularly toward Sydney Harbour as a main focal point. Michiru Higginbotham proposes a coming together of old and new, yet through a shared lightness that opens upward and out, reinforces the existing Federation history of the building while creating new connections in the process.
Originally built in the early 1900s, the historic home is one of a collection that were established when the mansion was subdivided from its original sole occupancy residence into a number of apartments. Although the most favourable view aligned with a north westerly aspect, the depth of the apartment allowed for a reworking of functional areas to combat heat issues through certain months. Favouring a more outdoor lifestyle, the owners wanted the home to reflect those values, and being able to open out to the surrounding landscaped areas, as well as the views, is key to how they live.
While original detailing remains, a clean and restrained palette provides the base for the inserted joinery elements and the reworking of the key bathroom and kitchen spaces.
Although light, the warmth in the creamy tones used throughout feels welcoming and embracing, and with the internal zones newly opened to the elements, the home becomes even more illuminated through the connection to natural light. Built by Alia Group and with joinery by Blank Joinery, the new works integrate amenity and support elements throughout. Facilitating the coexistence between old and new, the consistency used throughout helps to add strength to those connections. The spaces are then re-adorned in response to the current owners, allowing for key furniture and lighting to become the highlight.
Through a re-evaluation of how to optimise both the site and its orientation, Danmark Point Piper is given its second awakening, firmly establishing its future. Michiri Higginbotham ensures a continued lineage in place, yet has sculpted the ideal home for its current custodians to live their best lives.