Sensitive and Modern – Paddington 2 by Stanic Harding Architects
Paddington, NSW, Australia

Photography Nicholas Watt
Words Bronwyn Marshall
Interior Materiality, Furniture and Soft Furnishings Interni
Landscaping 02 Bates Landscape

Carefully navigating its narrow allotment, Paddington 2 preserves its previous narrative and history while weaving in a contemporary and purposeful addition to the rear. Stanic Harding combines a crafted restraint in creating a home of modern sensitivity that maintains its original proportions and presence.

Intertwined within the dense infill of Sydney’s Paddington, the home of the same name sees a considered revitalisation of a tired and neglected old gem. Behind its Victorian-era façade, the original home has been near to rebuilt, allowing the previous narrative to continue and become more layered with its additional years. Working within the original proportions and preserving the preceding scale, the new is a modern interpretation, combining a crispness and the use of strong linear lines to reinforce sightlines and volumes, while still referencing some of the original gestural details. Through a respectful lens, Stanic Harding brings elements of craft and considered heightened detailing to enhance the new insertions and create a connection to the home’s past.

A muted and tonal approach ensures each of the spaces feels connected and yet clearly identifiable as their own, and through a focus on detail and the engagement of quality makers, the home will surely resonate beyond its time.

Built by Kinn Construction, together with landscaping by Thirty-Three Parallel and Bates Landscape, Paddington 2 is further layered with interior materials, furniture and soft furnishings by Interni. With a streetscape frontage measuring a mere 5m across, the series of spaces behind are intercepted with purpose and rigour. While the two front rooms were retained and restored, the preceding spaces are newly imagined and are a nod to the original home. Aligning off of the one main corridor spine, each of the rooms are a reimagining of the original. Referencing the original mouldings of the skirtings and cornicing, along with the replacement and restoration of the outer doors and windows, allows the more contemporary joinery elements to cater for the contemporary lived condition.

Linking back to the instilled craft of the home’s origins are the blackbutt timber interior lining boards and the restoration of the terraces and their filigree detailing. On the lower level, the open living space is excavated into the site to allow a thoroughfare to the rear garden at grade, while a rooftop sits above. On an elevated level, the kitchen then overlooks the sunken gathering space and creates a separation through subtlety. Openings in the horizontal plane allow for skylights to bring sunlight deep into the home, naturally illuminating the spaces and offering a reprieve to the otherwise darkness of such terrace homes. A muted and tonal approach ensures each of the spaces feels connected and yet clearly identifiable as their own, and through a focus on detail and the engagement of quality makers, the home will surely resonate beyond its time.

Working within the original proportions and preserving the preceding scale, the new is a modern interpretation, combining a crispness and the use of strong linear lines to reinforce sightlines and volumes, while still referencing some of the original gestural details.

Paddington 2 opens upward and outward in welcoming in the natural. Through considered insertions, Stanic Harding has proposed an extension of a sensitive and modern narrative.

Published 13 April, 2021
Photography  Nicholas Watt
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