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what.    2 bed, 1 bath apartment

where.  bronte, nsw

when.   2021

wow.    51sqm

​           Guy Wilkinson Photography

Combine beach-side living, with a ski chalet = beâCHâlet — an apartment renovation that is both open and airy in summer, and cosy and cocoon-like in winter. 

Concealed within a nondescript 1970’s brick apartment block, the primary, underlying principles of the design were to develop more efficient use of the unit, maximise hidden storage, and provide more curated display areas, whilst at the same time creating a relaxing quality of space — hiding technology, appliances and the more functional, but less poetic elements, that make homes work.

Having learned carpentry skills from my father — an Optometrist by profession, but a jack of all trades - I seized the opportunity to design and build this unit renovation for myself, at little additional cost than the supplies, the sub-contracted trades (waterproofing/tiling, electrical & plumbing) and the labour of my own love. The use of sustainably sourced plywoods, cork, easily demounted and dissembled joinery elements, and re-use of existing spaces in more efficient & productive ways — has given this tiny 51sqm apartment a new lease on life.

Prior to entering the unit visitors are introduced to a small front door gallery window of ever-changing artworks. At the threshold of the unit - or ‘genkan’ - visitors are invited to sit at the built-in seat to remove shoes to be stored under the seat (which also hides long-term storage below it).

Every space, joinery unit and furniture piece within the apartment serves more than one purpose.

Sliding panels, secreted storage spaces, integrated drawers and cupboards, reconfigurable furniture, wrap-around curtains, cork pinup walls, pegboard gallery panels, suspended plywood ceilings with concealed and feature lighting pendants, all serve to reveal and conceal the flexibility and functionality of the spaces within. 

The unit has to be experienced in its multiple permutations/configurations to be understood.

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