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A Palm Springs-Inspired Oasis In Suburban Sydney

Architecture

Get ready to be wowed, people, this mid-century-inspired, sun-drenched home in Sydney by Nick Bell Architects is truly fabulous.

The Olphert in Vaucluse sensitively transforms a dilapidated mid-century residence into a striking contemporary family home, with a retro twist. Palm Springs meet suburban Sydney, in the most spectacular way!

1st October, 2019

Photography – Tom Ferguson. Styling – Emma Elizabeth.

Photography – Tom Ferguson. Styling – Emma Elizabeth.

Photography – Tom Ferguson.

Photography – Tom Ferguson. Styling – Emma Elizabeth.

Photography – Tom Ferguson. Styling – Emma Elizabeth.

Photography – Tom Ferguson. Styling – Emma Elizabeth.

Photography – Tom Ferguson. Styling – Emma Elizabeth.

Photography – Tom Ferguson. Styling – Emma Elizabeth.

Photography – Tom Ferguson. Styling – Emma Elizabeth.

Photography – Tom Ferguson. Styling – Emma Elizabeth.

Photography – Tom Ferguson. Styling – Emma Elizabeth.

Miriam McGarry
Tuesday 1st October 2019

Nick Bell Architects took inspiration from the existing mid-century home for this outstanding project, The Olphert in Vaucluse, New South Wales. The essence of glamour and style from the original 1960s design have been emphasised, with a contemporary touch.

When the architects first encountered the home, it was in poor condition and offered a fragmented layout, with distinct and separated zoned. The large swimming pool was cut off from the living spaces, and the distinct sections of the home felt isolated. The brief from the clients was to create an oasis, to open up the home and provide a seamless entertaining zone that linked the home, garden and pool.

The architects highlight that the client’s love of mid-century design helped inform the renovations, and the team drew upon this aesthetic to inform the additional bedroom, new living spaces, and kitchen and bathroom fit-outs. Existing spaces were also sensitively updated, by looking historically to the styles and materials of the mid-century period, and refurbishing and repairing joinery, terrazzo paving (!!) and parquetry flooring.

The Olphert takes inspiration from the homes and hotels of Palm Springs, reimagined for an Australian setting. The sweeping rear roof structure swoops around, offering maximum northern light through the interior spaces, with its distinctive curve embracing the pool terrace. The architects emphasise how the material selections also reference mid century design, through large areas of glazing framed in bronze aluminium, pink joinery in the kitchen, and the sandstone crazy paving outside. Jakin Homes and Pools pulled it all together, completing the pool and landscaping as well as the build.

While the end result here signals lazy afternoons of poolside cocktails in palazzo pants, this project wasn’t all smooth sailing. The architects explain that the irregular shape of the triangular garden, and the discovery of asbestos during the build necessitated some inventive design thinking, but resulted in an innovate and considered renovation. Despite the challenges, the Nick Bell Architects team truly nailed this Palm-Springs-meets-suburban-Sydney brief!

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