It’s not often you hear of an apartment undergoing structural changes, particularly ones that are going to impact perimeter walls, but Brcar Morony Architecture (BMA) have made this a reality in their Courtyard Apartment.
When engaged to renovate this 1970s home, BMA first gained approval from the building’s owners corporation and neighbours to change the structural layout. By doing so, they were able to eliminate an existing small third bedroom, and instead introduce a dining area inside the apartment for the first time.
The biggest challenge for the architects was working with load bearing apartment walls, but overcoming this was undoubtedly the project’s greatest success. The new floor plan enables the clients (a family of three) to directly enter the apartment via their private courtyard, allowing them to bypass the building’s common foyer.
Because most of the renovation budget was spent on new steel beams to support the floors above and on extending doorway heights, the clients determined key areas of the interiors they would give financial priority to. One of these priorities was the treatment of existing ‘popcorn’ walls, which were painstakingly sanded back in the bedrooms, and drywalled in the living area, resulting in a sleek, streamlined feel.
‘A hierarchy was established with the client from the outset, to spend money on ‘big ticket’ items such as black steel framed door, solid oak parquetry floors, American oak portal frames, but with simpler finishes for the kitchen joinery and bathroom finishes,’ says BMA director Natalie Brcar. ‘We wanted to keep the palette light, contemporary but warm. Whites and oaks with black accents, supplemented with colourful art.’
The resulting interior aesthetic showcases an understated elegance that perfectly complements the family’s vibrant art collection, and echoes the refined, yet relaxed vibe of the home’s location in harbour-side Rushcutters Bay. It’s also now a far more practical home for its young family occupants, having been levelled out so all spaces including the courtyard are on one even plane.
The clients now have the rare apartment luxury of a private entryway, along with enough outdoor space for children to play, while the parents watch over with a glass of rosé!