An Art Deco Nest In Inner Sydney

A castle in a cloud… or an art-deco nest in Potts Point? Take a tour through this renovated apartment by Retallack Thompson, sitting above the Challis Avenue restaurants.

This calm and light city escape has a small footprint, but has been masterfully designed to sleep five people.

Miriam McGarry

An art-deco nest by Retallack Thompson. Photo – Kat Lu.

A sleek and timeless design. Photo – Kat Lu.

A dining nook overlooks the surrounding Potts Point terraces. Photo – Kat Lu.

Art deco curves inform the renovation inside. Photo – Kat Lu.

The iconic windows bring light and a sense of space to the apartment. Photo – Kat Lu.

A calming grey and white bathroom. Photo – Kat Lu.

Tile detailing in the bathroom. Photo – Kat Lu.

Miriam McGarry
29th of May 2019

The Challis Avenue Apartment by Retallack Thompson is evocatively described by architect Jemima Retallack as a ‘cosy and secure nest’ located about the Challis Avenue restaurants in Potts Point. The apartment looks out over the local terraces to the sprawling lights of Sydney, and is a city ‘hideout’ for the family of five who owns it.

Jemima explains that the aesthetic of the apartment draws on the existing building’s distinctive art deco details. With curved corners ‘literally everywhere’ (walls, ceilings, sills) and generous ceiling heights, these characteristics helped to inform the design of the renovation.

The brief was to expand the liveability of the apartment while retaining the constrained footprint. The owners expressed their desire for an apartment that could accommodate a family of five, as well as be suitable for couples, visitors, and include easy daytime spaces. Jemima highlights, ‘we sought to provide as many sleeping options as possible to accommodate the various configurations of occupants.’

The resulting design draws upon the work of Swedish architect Sigurd Lewerentz, whose work on smaller houses and apartments Jemima references for their considered balance ‘between individual and communal spaces.’ For this nest-like apartment, the architects reconsidered the ‘open-plan’ model. Instead, they designed implied boundaries between different zones of the home, which still encourage connection.

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