A home with sweeping harbour views has been thoughtfully reshaped into a relaxed, light-filled family home.
Sydney-based architects Studio Prineas’ most recent project – a restored 1980s home in McHahon’s Point, Sydney – sits elevated and nestled in a conservation area, surrounded by homes addressing the water. “The decision to work within the existing building envelope was made early on,” Studio Prineas principal architect Eva-Marie Prineas says. “We were mindful of preserving the neighbours’ views and minimising changes requiring lengthy council approvals,” she adds.
Eva-Marie mentions that they favoured a more contemporary, refined expression rather than an ornate one. Externally, dark timber cladding, white render, blackened steel and tumbled stone culminate to form a relaxed, approachable front.
Internally, the home’s spaces have been rearranged to accentuate the views, including relocating the main living space to the upper level, offering views extending all the way to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The connecting kitchen-dining space is defined by a sleek, steel-framed island bench with an adjoining dining table. Sunlit and expansive, this main communal space was what originally inspired the project’s name; ‘heliotropism’ refers to plants moving in the direction of the sun.
The level below the communal space comprises a dedicated parents’ retreat with a bedroom, walk-in robe, ensuite, powder room and study, while the level beneath that comprises a dedicated space for their daughter to enjoy time with friends. Light enters these spaces via a generous courtyard at the rear, which also offers a reprieve from the intense afternoon sun.
Despite its compact footprint and terrace shape, the home has been approached in a way that encourages a circular path of travel rather than a vertical one. This allows occupants to fully appreciate the surrounding landscape.
Studio Prineas have realised a home that prioritises three essential qualities: sunlight, connectivity and views. “The house is rationalised to address these qualities and celebrate the ritual of each space”, Eva-Marie says.