Perched on the cliff top at Ben Buckler’s Point, North Bondi, the six unit 1930s apartment building has seen many changes over the years, including part of the property collapsing in the recent past. The owner of this particular apartment want to more liveable and sustainable environment better connected to its dramatic natural surrounds.
The layers of the sandstone cliff under the building are a metaphor for the layers of complexity in this residence. While on the surface the apartment feels sleek, modern and contemporary, a tremendous amount of work was carried out to bring it up to this state. The project started by exploring the existing plan, which included a small, poorly oriented, south facing living space and an oversized kitchen. To optimise the space a more desirable east orientation was achieved by enlarging and combining the living and dining spaces. The reshaped layout resulted in the majority of walls within the apartment being rebuilt while still using the support of the original planning as preserved in the apartment below. The layout had to use all of the original services penetrations in the slab – the toilet, for instance , is in the same location but rotated 180 degrees.
The apartment originally had four main windows, but because the sills were a meter above the floor, the water views disappeared when the occupants were seated. The solution was to cut the sills down to floor level and to install high performance, low E glazing and stainless stell balconies. These new windows reconnect the bedroom and living space to the ocean, virtually bringing the ocean and the environment inside the apartment. A further benefit of the new openings is increased light by day, openings complement the building’s fenestration and are now the key feature of the apartment and a major contributor to the transformation. To further accentuate and blur the connection to the ocean, the lightweight acoustic floor, finishing in limestone, continues outdoors and the balustrades are fitted with frameless glass