Reimagining an inherited and storied home, MB Apartment sees the internal conditions carved to match the needs of its first-homeowner clients. Bokey Grant combines subtleties with a clever use of materiality and spatial understanding to propose a home connecting its owners to an embedded sense of place.
Located in Sydney’s inner west of Drummoyne, MB Apartment takes its naming from its owners’ initials and is a story of closely connected lineage. Originally the home of their grandmother after she relocated to Australia in the 1960s, there was already an endearing binding nostalgic pull in play, which was then built upon in the new and revised reworking of the internal volumes. Left untouched since acquiring the apartment from 30 years prior, the home both needed an update, while also presented with the opportunity to create a series of spaces that reflected its new owners. Set within the original blond brick building of its time, the mass of the architecture speaks to a carving gesture, and the new internal works then emerge through a similar vein, seeing Bokey Grant sculpt connections and circulation to reflect the contemporary conditions.
Within its restricted budget, MB Apartment was built by Rise Architectural Builders and shows the effective results of a methodical approach. While the home’s original planning reflected the time of its build, it needed to both align with the outward facing views of the harbour and a better understanding on the importance and effect of light on the quality of the internal experience. Within the home’s close proximity to the ocean, a sense of calm was imperative. Opening up the internals and the application of a lighter, refreshed natural palette changed the feeling from within.
Through a replanning of the internal configuration, the existing two-bedroom apartment is opened up to allow better visual connections, while a more refined sense of arrival sets the tone for the logical and considered planning to follow. Additional elements that allow areas to be closed off further embeds a sense of flexibility into the planning, increasing the liveability and functionality of the spaces as needed. Bringing clarity to the plan, nods to the original home are drawn from and retained, connecting the new to the old and continuing the story of the home as it passed on through generations. Elements such as brown marble, terrazzo and blackout timber sit comfortably as a result, in amongst a mostly light and open sensibility throughout.
Through a considered approach, Bokey Grant’s MB Apartment brings meaning through the new interventions, allowing the continued narrative of its previous owner while opening up and embracing the home’s connection to the harbour.