Spotted Gum House by Alexander & CO.

  • Spotted Gum House by Alexander & Co.

    Alexander & CO.’s overhaul of an existing Bungalow on Sydney’s North Shore is the epitome of courageous design, from its scale to material selection, to sustainable practices.

    Sydney-based interior design studio Alexander & CO. go beyond just responding to the brief. It is their firm belief that each project – each place – whether it be a residential home or a hospitality venue, has something to say; they call this “the spirit of place”. The spirit of Spotted Gum House is marked by innovation and exploration. The clients themselves played a pivotal role in the home’s forward-thinking sustainable design features, while the Alexander & CO. team explored the tension between what was and what could be.

    The house features a double-story rear extension on an early 20th-century bungalow. Each section of the home – the restored front, the new upstairs, and the new downstairs – was designed with a unique architectural language, making the process more streamlined. What we see as a result is a marriage between both traditional and contemporary architecture to create one unified design vernacular.

    The ground floor of the rear extension comprises a generous, open communal space with a high-ceiling kitchen, dining and living area. Upstairs on the first floor are the private living quarters, including the main bedroom, steam shower room and built-in infra-red sauna. The home’s original front comfortably houses two guest bedrooms, a study, sitting room, guest bathroom, powder room, and laundry.

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    Contrasting materials for the floors, ceiling and walls creates variety and movement in the communal space.

    The home’s restrained material palette – grey marble, black steel, stained oak and off-white brick – departs from its otherwise unrestrained scale. This comes across not as jarring but rather sensible and balanced. When speaking about the materials, Alexander & CO. director Jeremy Bull notes that they “endeavoured to bring a contemporary Australian architectural language to life with a modernist reference”. The selection of bespoke lighting and furniture, such as the Surface wall sconce by Henry Wilson and the Prime Time leather chair by Tom Stepp for Great Dane, are integral to this dialogue. 

    Perhaps the most significant aspect of this alteration was the pivot towards a more environmentally-conscious way of designing and living. Devoted to both personal wellness and sustainability through architecture, the clients were key drivers behind the home’s sustainable features, some of which include: a circadian ‘dim’ lighting system, geothermal climate control, double-glazed windows, and organic low-risk materials. “Each of these components was pivotal in maintaining integrity and excellence within the design,” Jeremy says. Helping steer this sustainability focus was landscape architect Hugh Burnett, a pioneer in designing gardens that ‘move with the times’.

    Spotted Gum House by Alexander & CO. is a paragon of timelessness; emerging from the past, built in the present, designed for the future.

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    The Domus Lounge for Artek.

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    The ensuite features the York Bath for Victoria + Albert, Vintage Armchair and the WNG Chair by Magnus Læssøe Stephensen for Mazo.

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