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Darling Point by Alexander &CO.


Working within heritage walls and with a limited footprint, Alexander &Co have transformed a Victorian cottage in Darling Point, Sydney, into a richly personalised 'house of rooms' for a family of five. Wanting to regain the spirit of the building, rather than simply recreate its history, Alexander &Co sought to dismantle the components of a home typical of the surrounding neighbourhood before scaling it back to fit the specifics of the site. With a new contemporary floorplan, and elements that draw from historic references with a focus on textured finishes and the hand made, the resulting home is beautiful in its exploration of finding the contemporary and grand within what is historic and compact.

The new floor plan included the relocation of stairs, rooms and amenities as well as external works. In the absence of ‘open plan', the architects’ pursuit throughout was to create a story of rooms and a home in which each inhabitant could find their own usage, favourite nook or public arena. Alexander &Co catered to each parent's particular needs for privacy and adult space, along with ample amenity for their kids including separate rooms with desks, wardrobes and play areas. The lower floor rooms and limited garden provide space for the children at both meal and play times, as well as for the family to operate at different times of the day. 

Similarly, the interest in the textured, hand constructed and materially robust spirit of the home was a theme the architects maintained during the design of this project. All surfaces have been deliberately hand detailed and finished from polished plaster and painted tidelines to ceiling lining boards and contemporary wall panelling.

In the kitchen, two pot railings and light fittings in solid brass are encouraged to patina with time, reflecting the authenticity of material selections within the home. 

Alexander &Co also explored several historic references throughout including the application of traditional paved limestone floors in the kitchen and scullery, a grand central stairwell and light-well and the hearth of the grand rooms as well as contemporary interpretations of traditional wall panelling shown throughout. Upstairs, the family bathroom was designed as an abstract of a traditional winter-garden with steel-framed skylight and timber ceiling panelling.

Styling by Claire Delmar / Photography by Tom Ferguson

Showing plenty of innovation, while being sympathetic to its surrounding heritage environment, this beautiful home is detailed to feel valuable within its small footprint, while still telling a grand internal story. Youthful but also reverential, Darling Point is a delicate, slightly feminine study in the role of the contemporary classic.

Project courtesy of Alexander &CO. and v2com

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