A Celebration of Light & Sanctuary – Darlinghurst Apartment by Hecker Guthrie

Words by Jackson Hides
Photography by Shannon McGrath
Hg Darlinghurst ©smg 5576 Copy

Situated within an existing building in the inner-Sydney suburb of Darlinghurst, the aptly named Darlinghurst Apartment provided Hecker Guthrie an ideal backdrop to play with light and explore ideas of sanctuary.

Inspired by the aesthetic of an art gallery space, sight lines are focused and lighting is used to create subtle moments of illumination, highlighting the client’s collection of artwork and objects. White was adopted as a minimal base, with a muted material palette extending to light timber floors and kitchen shelving, complemented by feature oak furniture that frames the spaces and zones within the apartment.

Light timber joinery and glass feature prominently, allowing for maximum light to enter the apartment

The project was born out of a desire to improve the connectivity between living zones in both a physical and visual sense. This is in part contributed to by the purpose-designed joinery that features throughout. According to Hecker Guthrie director Hamish Guthrie, “floating freestanding joinery elements allow an articulation of space without the loss of visual and physical connection, while at the same time bringing natural light deeper into the apartment”. This allows for the apartment to serve multiple facets, providing a place of work, a place to entertain and a place of sanctuary, in one.

According to Hecker Guthrie’s Hamish Guthrie, the role of the apartment alternates between providing a place of work, a place to entertain and a place of sanctuary.

A deep passion for Japanese design, homewares and objects on the part of the owner sees the kitchen outlined via a series of timber and glass screens. Amongst the objects featured are small works by Ayumi Ohashi, via the Claska Gallery in Tokyo, as well as Melbourne’s Anchor Ceramics and Sydney’s the Provider Store, which set to balance the overall aesthetic. For Hamish, “the apartment aims to embody the client and evoke a feeling of complete sanctuary. The simplicity of the space is its success, allowing the client’s personality to shine through the display of their carefully curated collection of objects and furniture. For us, it is beautiful to observe the way the owner has embraced the design ideas and taken further ownership of her environment.”

Considered Japanese objects and homewares, including small works by Ayumi Ohashi, feature prominently throughout.

Set in a heritage building, the existing location of services played a role in dictating spatial planning. The designers say that one challenge this posed was in maximising space and physical connectivity, without imposing too heavily on the existing architectural language. The artwork adorned throughout the space was central to achieving this. The client’s collection of artwork is interplayed with the elements of the interior with a carefully curated selection of works from an impressive breadth of artists on display. Paintings by Michael Bennett, Greg Wood and Lottie Consalvo adorn the walls, which not only encourage a sort of introspection, but ensure surprise at every turn and frame the rest of the project: material, furniture and object selection, perfectly.

Darlinghurst Apartment provides a study in respectful restraint, utilising light, the client’s cherished objects and art collection, within minimalist palette to produce a relaxing and contemplative home – a true inner-urban sanctuary.