Sydney. A high-end residence transforms an abandoned warehouse

The house for a young couple, by Bennett & Trimble, features a surprising, dramatic, show-off space layout, imbued with references to architectural modernity and post-modernity.

Bennett and Trimble, William Lane warehouse, Sydney, Australia, 2018

Woolloomooloo is the proper name – one with a particularly tricky spelling – of a former docklands area in Sydney. In the last few decades, it has undergone an intense process of gentrification, implying the conversion to a residential function of most of its built structures. Here, local office Bennett & Trimble designs an addition to an old warehouse, transforming it into the high-end urban residence for a young couple.

An unassuming volume, clad in black metal, is overlaid on the equally sober brick walls of the existing building. When looking at it from the adjacent public street, William Lane, it is virtually impossible to figure out the exuberant articulation of spaces and functions concealed inside it.

Double, triple, dizzying heights: stairwells are like walkways suspended in the air, leading the visitor’s explorations through the house. Pretty naughty transparencies and reflections: all of the rooms, even the bedrooms, look out on the distribution space through huge glass partitions, while a salle de bain features a mirroring ceiling.

Theatricality and machinism, with no saving in terms of design energy (or construction costs!): the works of art which are normally exhibited in the gallery on the ground floor can slide along a system of vertical guides, in order to function as the ever-changing scenography of each house floor. Quotations of modernism: at the entrance of the shower room, the chaise longue silhouette of the seat is certainly a memory of Villa Savoye.

These and many other details make Bennett & Trimble’s design somewhat resemble a contemporary reinterpretation of Paul Rudolph’s amazing penthouse in New York: the student hasn’t become the master, but the final outcome is not without interest.

Bennett and Trimble, William Lane warehouse, Sydney, Australia, 2018
Bennett and Trimble, William Lane warehouse, Sydney, Australia, 2018
William Lane warehouse
private house
Sydney, Australia
Bennett and Trimble
GNC Quality
Structural engineer:
SDA Structures

Latest on Architecture

Latest on Domus

Read more
China Germany India Mexico, Central America and Caribbean Sri Lanka Korea icon-camera close icon-comments icon-down-sm icon-download icon-facebook icon-heart icon-heart icon-next-sm icon-next icon-pinterest icon-play icon-plus icon-prev-sm icon-prev Search icon-twitter icon-views icon-instagram