Playful Softening – Harbour House by Studio Gorman and Peter Tout
Inspired by a 1980s-era musing, Harbour House brings a playful combination of colour and contrast, referencing a Miami aesthetic through a contemporary lens. Studio Gorman and Peter Tout combine to bring focus to the original narrative of the home, ensuring an open and flowing planning methodology to align with a relaxed and elevated life.
Nestled into the lower North Shore of Sydney, Harbour House occupies three generous levels and, having been in need of an overhaul, was reworked to continue its relevance for its current owners and their coming chapters. Both renovating and reviving past connections to the 1980s, the resulting home emerges as an authentic expression of place. Using the pastels and contrasting elements that the era was known for, the home is reimagined through a more open approach, focusing on indoor and outdoor connections. With architecture by Peter Tout and interior design by Studio Gorman, the residence aims to divert the assumptions about the era and show a more contemporary reiteration.
Harbour House needed to integrate a robustness to suit the needs of family life, while also creating moments of character throughout. Wanting to express the personalities living within, colour is used to animate the interior, with a combination of textures and tactile touchpoints integrated throughout. The curation of furniture needed to be comfortable, low maintenance and align with a larger philosophy of how the spaces could be occupied. As well as allowing for a certain level of flexibility between zones – defined opportunities to convene, gather and retreat to were a priority.
Combined with natural finishes as a grounding to the loftiness of the pastel tones, timber is integrated and used as the main flooring material, as well as within select joinery. Encouraging an interaction with the surrounding and established landscape setting, openings are created, bringing in light and allowing natural ventilation to move through the interior. The home sees the inclusion of positive elements of the referenced era, nods to Miami and the use of a softened palette to form the selected style. Together with terrazzo, natural stone and brass, the lighter tones define the feel of the home, creating a welcoming feel.
Harbour House uses both curves and a playful approach to create a unique family base. With a focus on disconnection, Studio Gorman and Peter Tout have crafted an idyllic calm that paves its own path.