When Jeremy Bull, principle architect of Alexander and Co first encountered the Palm Beach House, he was faced with a 1970s Greek-inspired concrete building, wrapped in a dull beige render. Jeremy describes a ‘dilapidated and antiquated’ property, in need of an entirely new plan.
The transformation to the new design involved a complete gutting of the property, and now little trace of the initial building remains – beyond the original concrete slab and external brick walls. A dramatic shedding of an old skin, exchanging aluminum windows for a bespoke fit-out. A Northern Beaches re-telling of the classic storybook scenario, where an ugly duckling is transformed into a statuesque swan.
The client brief was to create a ‘home away from home’, where the previously dislocated waterfront is reconnected to the property. The architects worked to create a calming coastal space, with a gentle and timeless quality. The team explains, ‘the project is a restrained approach with a traditional European vernacular, exploring bespoke quality detailing, materiality and architectural framing.’
The house is brought to life through an emphasis on the handcrafted and artisan detailing. Jeremy draws attention to the interior finishes, executed by sub-contractors brought together for their specialist skills. The stunning solid timber ceiling, basket weave stone tiling, and hand polished stucco and plaster render all add texture and depth to this serene holiday home.
Jeremy cites the work of iconic Belgian designer Axel Vervoordt as a key reference for the project. These influences are evident in the texture, tone and colour scheme of the design, which captures a sense of time-out-of-time.
The success of this home is evident in the serenity it exudes, its connection to the waterfront, and its seamless intertwining of heritage grandeur with contemporary style. What cements the win for the Palm Beach Home, though, is the happiness of its occupants. Jeremy shared that their client has already engaged Alexander and Co for another project – there’s no better endorsement than that!