Set on the tip of Point Seymour, in Vaucluse, Sydney, the Peninsula House by Stafford Architecture, with interiors by Hare + Klein, takes its cues from a neighbouring art deco home to create a design that balances openness to the exceptional harbour views with a sense of privacy and sanctuary.
“We feel this project exemplifies the potential for good collaboration,” says Christopher Trotta, senior associate at Stafford Architecture. The Peninsula House brought together Stafford Architecture with interior designers Hare + Klein to breathe new life into an existing 1970s house set at the very end of the peninsula. As a result of this unique location, the home is blessed with unparalleled views, however, the site is also quite exposed, explains Christopher. From the street, the design emphasises privacy and sculptural forms, with the views slowly unfolding as one moves through the home.
The architecture seeks to shape different experiences throughout the home, an intention which is reflected in Hare + Klein’s interior design concept. The bold, sculptural forms of the external façade, which recall the distinctive art deco curves of the significant 1920s home next door, are translated into the interior’s unexpected spaces. “The geometry of the architectural envelope influenced the way we designed the interior,” says interior designer Meryl Hare, Hare + Klein principal. “Wrapping dark timber vertical screen elements from outside in allowed us to create depth to mitigate the light that streams in through the doors and windows from the north and east, intensified by the reflections off the water below.” Every aspect of the design emphasises bespoke details. “You’ll notice when you move through the home that the design isn’t about symmetry or about regularity in all areas. Every space and every moment of the house is unique and bespoke,” Christopher says. “The material palette pulls all of those different shapes and forms together into a cohesive composition.”
“We feel this project exemplifies the potential for good collaboration.”
A dramatic internal staircase that defies all expectation is one of those key moments. “The ribbon staircase, constructed in ducoed steel, is a gorgeous curved fluid shape that gave us the opportunity to develop the design ‘language’ of oval and circular forms, which were echoed throughout in interior detailing as well as furnishings,” Meryl says. Elle McCarthy, lead specification consultant at Tongue n Groove, recalls “I remember the first time I saw the set of drawings for this staircase. It’s really the heart of this particular project – it’s the hero, it draws everything in the space together. The Argento European oak is such a beautiful colour and texture to use on this particular style of staircase.” She reflects that the “heavy visual weight” of the product is balanced by “really beautiful soft golden undertones that kind of dance with the eye as you move and curve around the staircase.”
Timber is key to defining the atmosphere throughout different spaces in the home. “In some areas, the dark tones create a more sophisticated feel and then in other areas, it’s a brighter tone to reflect the lightness and everyday use of the space,” Christopher says. While the Argento solid engineered oak adds depth to the staircase, on the ceiling the Freado boards (the most natural European oak colour) are lighter. The Argento tone is used again on the upper level, grounding the spaces and providing a visual connection. “The palette is refined and layered, punctuated with contrasts of colour and texture,” explains Meryl. “Honed marble, dark stained timber and light, white walls, shades of warm grey and charcoal stucco, steel, glass, bronze, the Argento European oak from Tongue n Groove for the staircase and upper level, black chrome and stitched leather are at the core of the materials strategy.”
“The distinctive features come down to how seamlessly integrated everything comes together,” says Christopher. “From the way in which the air-conditioning is integrated into the timber boards of the ceiling, to the lights integrated into the floating stair treads – every detail, every piece, everything has been a labour of love.” Elle agrees, “It then becomes a highly rewarding experience to be a part of their design and arrive at these incredibly refined, layered and warm spaces that quite often exceed the expectations of the clients,” she says.
Timber is key to defining the atmosphere throughout different spaces in the home.
Strong but sensitive, receptive to its environment but standing proud, the Peninsula House is a refined reflection of the client’s lifestyle.