Kurraba Residences by SJB

Words by Camille Khouri
Photography by Tom Roe
Photography by Timothy Kaye
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Responding to the unique waterfront location and eclectic streetscape of a prestigious suburb on Sydney’s North Shore, Kurraba Residences by SJB is made up of three artfully curved red-brick buildings set amid landscaped parklands.

The scalloped architectural forms and warm, textured materials of Kurraba Residences pay homage to the late Victorian homes that take pride of place on this peninsula, as well as the area’s much-coveted 1920s apartment buildings. Patterned brick coursing adds depth to the facade, with this Art Deco-esque aesthetic given a modern lift by the building’s expansive windows. From many of the residences, these windows afford unimpeded vistas of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, as well as the glistening blue harbour.

“We wanted to create spaces that maximised the incredible views of the harbour, creating a connection to place in almost every room.”

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Open terraces set within the building’s contours link easily with the living spaces through curved glass sliding doors, providing space to entertain while also giving the residences a communal neighbourhood feel. Balustrades of fine metal allude to the decorative features of the area’s historic architecture, while framing and detailing appear refined and lightweight.

“The aim was to evoke a sense of ease for seamless living, where the architecture recedes and lets you immerse yourself in the landscape without distraction,” says Tamara Kerr, associate at SJB. “We wanted to create spaces that maximised the incredible views of the harbour, creating a connection to place in almost every room.”

“The penthouses balance internal and external living. They have a pool and a garden with a large grassed area – you feel like you are on top of the world.”

The apartments’ openness also allows for natural ventilation, with sea breezes welcomed into the interiors. In addressing the layouts, the site’s topography was taken into account, giving a sense of stepping down into the harbour and nestling into its surrounding parklands. Nature is given full respect in this lush, green neighbourhood, with landscape architecture designed by Dangar Barin Smith. Existing fig trees were retained around the buildings’ peripheries, areas of native groundcover planted alongside pathways, and vines trained to cover the lower-floor brickwork. The surrounding palm trees lend a Palm Springs aesthetic that denotes casual elegance. Set in between the three buildings, a verdant central courtyard offers a sheltered meeting place, linking with a concierge office for residents’ everyday needs.

Rooftop gardens are a feature of the penthouse suites, which also house private pools. “The penthouses balance internal and external living,” says Tamara. “They have a pool and a garden with a large grassed area – you feel like you are on top of the world.” For the interior design, SJB worked with Mathieson Architects, which combined pale timber cabinetry with the richness of marble in the kitchens and living spaces. Details such as scalloping on the base of the kitchen island and linear detailing around wall edges help to make the interiors feel at one with the building’s character. Tones are neutral yet expressive of the beaches and harbour that surround the peninsula, with limestone and burnished metals providing depth in the private spaces.

Each element of this development has been seamlessly integrated, from the landscaping to the interiors to the exterior treatments, which merge with the suburb’s charm. With its sense of openness, abundant greenery and extensive vistas, Kurraba Residences celebrates the wonder of modern Sydney living.

Architecture by SJB. Interior design by Mathieson Architects. Landscape design by Dangar Barin Smith. Development by Thirdi Group.

Each element of this development has been seamlessly integrated, from the landscaping to the interiors to the exterior treatments.