Apartment Finger Wharf
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Apartment Finger Wharf

Architect Prineas
Project Manager:
Connect Constructions
Katherine Lu
Chris Warnes

This project is a refurbishment of a circa 2000 apartment within the 1915 Wolloomooloo Finger Wharf.

The scope of works includes a general reconfiguration of the interior. To address the connection with the harbour, a more generous platform for living was designed within the constraints of Strata and Heritage requirements.

The level change that was drawn into the apartment begins a language of a more intimate interior theme. The interiors strive for a level of ambiguity where a door can be a wall and vice versa.

The second bedroom has been transformed from a dark media room to a bedroom with a view. The previously enclosed ensuite now opens to the main bedroom with a view from bath. The design relies on a high level of detail and craft in order to achieve the element of surprise and ambiguity.

The apartment is a city pied- á -terre for a couple who live in the mountains, but its floor plan was flawed and dark, with a second bedroom opening only onto an internal communal corridor. The clients wanted the space transformed to become a comfortable, “homey hotel room.” A kitchen and dining/entertaining area weren’t needed, given the profusion of good restaurants downstairs and nearby.

Eva-Marie strategically replaced the glazing with bigger doors that slide back – though the facade is heritage-listed, she was able to demonstrate that, when shut, the new glazing looked like the existing. The existing balustrade was higher than building codes required, so a new, slightly raised timber deck over the old balcony surface eliminated an awkward hob at the doors and allowed a seamless transition between inside and out.

The client was keen on recycled French timber floors and this choice, along with a brass kitchen bench, became the defining element of the fitout. The brass benchtop went through many prototyping iterations (visible welds don’t work in brass) to achieve an integrated sink in the kitchen. The space now has adaptable qualities – the second bedroom borrows a view through other spaces and various areas can be opened or closed off.

Eva-Marie has a great skill in restoring houses, and in knowing what to change and what to leave. The new work that she creates next to old fabric is very assured. She seems to add a layer of “touring quirkiness” to old houses by tweaking the circulation routes through them. She delights in adding big windows or non-traditional volumes to create elements of surprise.

Architect Prineas has fused together two of our favourite things: a daring design with captivating views. Sydney’s prestigious heritage-listed Woolloomooloo Finger Wharf now hosts a reconfigured apartment that exudes glamour, while bowing down to the spectacular Sydney harbour.

Setting out to better frame the apartment around the harbour panorama, Architect Prineas has created a strong link between the interior and the balcony. Within the heritage confines, the apartment has been stripped of low ceilings and generic detailing, making room for a new timber platform that extends from the interior to the exterior. This generous living platform aptly brings the sweeping views and natural light into the small-scale apartment.

If anywhere could successfully appear like a luxury-hotel-turn-city-pad, it has to be the Finger Wharf apartment. The signature dark panels conceal the minutiae of daily life, enabling the space to be reconfigured as striking doorways, or readily changeable walls. In this way, the apartment can seamlessly change in size, providing a more open living space. A theme of ambiguity stems from the unconventional layout, complemented by the larger-than-life brass handles on sliding doors and storage spaces.

The alluring array of black and gold reflect Architect Prineas’ precision to detail. A monochrome palette accentuates the audacious metallics used in the brushed brass kitchen island and polished brass bathroom fittings, while marble bench tops and mosaic tiling complement the bathroom’s luxurious aesthetic.

The unexpected use of material continues throughout the apartment, with natural leather furnishings and charcoal linen, that soften the interior. An expansive Persian rug welcomes colour and warmth, as each surface, texture and shape bring a new dimension to the living space. The inclusion of the Serge Mouille lamp adds height and further conveys the apartment’s thematic personality.

Innovating respectfully to the harbour surrounds, Architect Prineas has achieved the ultimate in avant-garde design.The Finger Wharf apartment now has the grandeur and elegance to effortlessly match the exclusivity of its location. Out with the old and in with the new has never looked so good.

The well-thought out design process had to adhere to stringent Strata and Heritage requirements, laid down by the 1915 Finger Wharf setting. A key modern alteration to the original structure involved substituting the single sliding doors with multiple sliders.

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