Concealing a sophisticated contemporary home behind its original Federation facade, Cnr Virginia in Sydney’s Kensington effortlessly traverses the past and the present.
“We were given the opportunity to reinvigorate a classically beautiful home that still retained its original footprint, while bringing it into the 21st century,” says Eva-Marie Prineas of Studio Prineas. “Thankfully, few of its original heritage features had been lost over the years, but they were in need of some love.”
Briefed to reinstate the front of the house, the owners also wanted a serene, airy family space, generous main suite, and seamless flow between indoors and out.
“The home backs onto a lush golf course, so we replaced the rear solid fence with a metal palisade to allow the garden to assume the grounds beyond the fence line,” she says. “The home feels like it’s part of a bush setting now.”
Inside, the home’s historic bones have been carefully preserved. Original ceilings were kept, skirtings and cornices restored, and walls painted a crisp white to draw focus to soft timber flooring, cast-iron fireplaces and ornate pressed-tin ceilings. Its distinctive facade is also retained, making it sympathetic to its location while maintaining a strong streetscape presence.
A glazed link overlooking a native garden joins the original home to its new modern extension. Above, the main suite takes in verdant views and adjacent rooftops. “We made the new addition distinct from the original house and concealed it from the street by lowering the floor level,” Prineas says.
The contemporary addition beautifully references the pitched volumes of the home’s original frontage. Both old and new feature blackened timber and recycled red brick with thoughtfully framed garden vistas throughout.
A clean, minimalist interior and restrained monochromatic scheme provides a peaceful backdrop. The kitchen, crafted in sustainable black Paperock, (a condensed form of paper) and platinum honed grey marble, features sharp black fixtures and edgings, and deep island bench with an elegant linear pendant.
Natural light floods the home through floor-to-ceiling glazing and skylights. Operable glazing opens the kitchen and living space across to the garden, outdoor dining area, and pool which is surrounded by a blackbutt deck and native vegetation.
“The Sydney climate is well-suited to expansive glazing,” Prineas says. “This sense of expanding horizons was also used in our pool design. By using fixed glazing to the house as pool fencing on two sides, the view is uninterrupted, and a cross breeze arrives through openings to the deck and courtyard.”
Locally designed furnishings and decor from Koskela were chosen for their functionality and their minimal styling and sculptural lines.
“It’s important that furnishings, textiles, and artworks combine to add warmth and character to a space. It’s what turns a house into a home.”
Mark Tuckey’s coffee table features clean robust lines handcrafted in sustainable American oak.
The comfortable Brolga sculptural armchair from Koskela features a floating seat supported by a slender Euro Beech frame, making it the epitome of form and function.
Henge’s tubular light wall lamp shines downwards or upwards-facing light from a cylindrical brass body.