Life Lived Well – Gezellig by Studio Prineas

Words by Bronwyn Marshall
Architecture by Studio Prineas
Photography by Felix Forest
Interior Design by Studio Prineas

Inspired by modernism, Gezellig captures the spirit of wellbeing and living harmoniously with others and the natural elements. Studio Prineas combines an open and connecting approach in renovating and extending an existing home, while embedding an element of the owners themselves.

Drawing on time living in the Netherlands, the namesake of Gezellig refers to an abstract idea of wellbeing and of emphasising a well-lived life as one that focuses on connections. The resulting home is conjured by combining existing elements on site with insertions and additions that help achieve that goal. With the home being a product of previous renovations over its lifetime, the owners wanted to bring it back to its base and build a deliberate and intentional home, one which both represented the modern family lifestyle and that allowed them to live their best lives. Emphasising the connection to the existing garden and surrounding landscape became crucial to fulfilling the brief. In response, Studio Prineas’s own architectural sensibility is overlaid to ensure the resulting home elevates the everyday.

A sense of place and of openness is cemented into the experience of the home from the beginning.

Located in the Upper North Shore of Sydney, Gezellig combines the warmth of its remnant brick elements with a lightness of the new gestures to create a home that feels grounded yet open. Looking to famed modernist architects Craig Ellwood and Pierre Koenig, their signature Californian style informed the reconfiguring of the home into one of similar principles. Linear planes and large glazed elements were crucial to ensuring the form lies low and lean along the site. Bringing natural light deep into the home helped to further emphasise a connection beyond the built edges, with skylights dotted throughout bathing the interior in light.

A sense of place and of openness is cemented into the experience of the home from the beginning. A new entry directs traffic through the site and into the home, opening to a generous living space with views out into the landscape. As a gravitating heart for the home, a stone-clad fireplace sits centrally. The family home encases three bedrooms that each allow for individual expression, from a uniformed base. Timber softens the harder elements and brings a sense of warmth to the home, while the flooring that runs throughout connects and binds the spaces.

Emphasising the connection to the existing garden and surrounding landscape became crucial to fulfilling the brief.

Open and expressive, Gezellig is the ideal foundation for its owners to showcase their artwork, collected treasures and a shared love of midcentury design. Studio Prineas draws from this connection to the handmade and the well-considered to propose a home of matching proportions.