When architect Josephine Hurley first entered this converted 1909 factory in Sydney’s Annandale, she was greeted by a mismatch of architectural styles and details, from classical columns to stained glass windows. The space was also severely lacking in comfort, with natural light, ventilation and thermal performance all needing to be addressed. It was her job to create a cohesive vision for the interiors, while seriously improving the home’s liveability to suit a couple and their child.
Josephine’s vision was to design a family-friendly home, but not at the expense of sophistication. Drawing inspiration from existing textures, patterns and colours on site, her approach was to declutter the space without stripping it of history and character. ‘The design focused on revealing the core structure of the warehouse, retaining key pieces of architecture and sympathetically adding a new layer to reflect the owner’s personality,’ Josephine says. ‘We wanted to embrace the warehouse shell and let the layers of history enrich the interiors.’ The level of detail contained in these interior spaces brings a much-needed level of human-scale and intimacy to the warehouse.
A large portion of the project budget was allocated to issues that only revealed themselves upon light demolition works. ‘There were even vines growing in gutters and behind built in wardrobes! Essentially the warehouse was feeling its age,’ says Josephine. Insulation was installed to improve thermal performance, skylights were added for more natural light and ventilation, and fireplaces were inserted in the library and living rooms to offer cosy places to gather.
The home’s previously underutilised internal courtyard also received a major upgrade. ‘The courtyard was originally cut off from the internal spaces, with small French doors being the only connection,’ explains Josephine. To overcome this issue, existing doors were replaced with elegant double-glazed, steel framed doors to celebrate the entire space.
The original warehouse facade of this home provides no clues to what’s inside, making the richly layered interiors a delight and surprise to all those who enter. The sense of playfulness, intimacy, and warmth not only reflects the current owner’s personalities, but the varied history of this former factory building.