The ‘Honiton Residence’ by MCK Architects of Australia
The starting point for the fabulous refurbishment of the ‘Honiton Residence’ was a beautiful and rambling Arts and crafts style house. This luxurious home is in Sydney’s Bellevue Hill and it was the responsibility of MCK architects to bring it up to date. This luxury home refurbishment project was a considerable challenge as it was important to retain the integrity and character of the original architecture at the same time as opening up the interior spaces and designing a home more suited to a 21st century lifestyle.
The structure of this house is startlingly beautiful, as would be expected of a substantial and historic residence. The original structure is an elegant traditional design with apex roofs and lofty spaces. The modern additions have been integrated sympathetically with the existing building. The resulting fusion has added multiple layers of interest in the asymmetry of the combined architectural volumes, forms and shapes.
Fantastic Luxury Home
The luxury home refurbishment has placed emphasis on a white design scheme both on the exterior and interior of the Honiton Residence. This enables the composition of the house to be fully appreciated without distractions. The bright white also exaggerates the sense of space and the freshness of the transformation. The atmosphere is uplifting and energizing throughout.
The interior of the house needed reconfiguring to open up cramped internal spaces and to maximize the action of light and air through the home. White also creates a versatile backdrop for the introduction of vibrant color through furnishings and artworks. This has been achieved with flair and a particular interest in modern paintings. An interesting feature of the luxury home refurbishment is the integration of colors and patterns from the Middle East. This East/West fusion is everywhere and creates a relaxing and tranquil ambience both inside and outside. The lively colors look fabulous next to the white walls and the introduction of rich patterns can be seen on fabrics and wall tiles and decorative screens. Interestingly the decorative element is not unlike the elaborate ornamentation associated with the original Arts and Crafts building, for example on ceilings and cornices. So cross cultural references and influences were clearly active at the time the house was first built.
Pool view of the white luxury home
This is a very clever and creative refurbishment and MCK architects have certainly done justice to the original structure. They have brought this lovely home right up to date without stripping the ‘Honiton Residence’ of its essential character.
Honiton Residence by MCK Architects
“A startling mix of Middle Eastern colours against perfect white gives this home its sense of luxury and tranquil liveability. The MCK renovation of a family residence in Bellevue Hill has transformed an Arts and Craft Movement house into a pristine white canvas upon which bold textures speak. A short client brief drove MCK’s approach; the owners of the six-bedroom residence complained the house was ‘too big’. MCK saw an urgent need to re-form and reunite the interior spaces, while making more of the extensive garden area, pool, and upper decks.
A new orientation of key living spaces was a critical first step to maximising sunlight and natural ventilation. Connecting the formerly closed-off rooms was key to unlocking the home’s spaces and bringing about highly usable and friendly living areas. External and internal blinds, as well as sunshade awnings, were used to control exposure to the sunlight, while inside the house an open mezzanine has transformed the back hall into a functional focal point.
The use of the large void to connect the kitchen, formal dining and living areas gives harmony to once disparate rooms. Light and the fine control of it further enhances the mezzanine, ensuring these spaces are inviting and useable at all times of the day. The interior is kept neutral with punches of colour used to add personality and character. All over the house the evocative contrast of intense textural materials is a striking design feature. Rough sandstone plays off against smooth concrete, timber screens contrast against lush plants, jewel coloured tiles arranged in an Islamic fan pattern break up blocks of austere Calacutta marble.
A sandstone wall that ‘snakes’ its way through the building from inside to out, is a clever tactical and visual device, used to connect a variety of spaces. The light colour palette was selected to complement the client’s extensive art and object collection. White paint was used on the walls and light or medium dark colours chosen for the flooring. In this way, a selection of contemporary finishes accent fittings, and fixtures along with bolts of hot orange, turquoise and cerise jump are allowed to leap out. In the dining room a custom-built screen between mirrors the exact pattern on the original stamped tin ceiling and acts as a decorative division between dining and living rooms.”