There’s few things we like more at est than to take a stickybeak into the homes of architects and designers themselves. It’s always fascinating to see what they curate in their spaces, what is prioritised, what is noticeably absent. For William Smart and his team at Smart Design Studio, their HQ in Surry Hills also plays host to William’s own home atop the two connected historic buildings, making it even more remarkable. We snapped up the chance to take a stickybeak inside ahead of the property’s upcoming auction.
Given the firm’s reputation for innovative and thoughtful architecture, it should come as no surprise that the design of both home and studio will satisfy any design devotee. Smart Design Studio took the original property (two historic buildings and heritage stables at the rear) and reimagined it as a multi-layered, mixed-use and meticulously restored design. The building’s status as a city fringe landmark is immediately visible from main building’s classic terrace exterior and the stable’s sandstone walls, with the modern additions adding soft contrast and dynamic.
The first two floors make up the office interiors and basement that have hosted Smart Design Studio over the past years, while upstairs the penthouse apartment is where William Smart and his partner call home. True to the studio’s aesthetic, the office fitout is simple yet structured, elegantly fitted with integrated joinery and terracotta floors – plus a sunny courtyard that links the main office area and rear stables which we can imagine is hugely popular with the staff come summer. The two-bedroom penthouse has a simple, predominantly open plan layout, separating the living and sleeping spaces by an island pod and cleverly concealing its bathroom and storage spaces.
Thanks to its north-facing position, light is embraced and maximised throughout the building, right down to the extensive bi-fold doors that open up to a private balcony in the master bedroom. While you might be in one of the buzzier suburbs of Sydney, the greenery surrounding the penthouse could have you fooled. And keeping in line with Smart’s eye for quality, the home packs plenty of perks in; underfloor heating, an integrated sound system and top-class appliances add value, while luxurious materials like travertine and terracotta lend warmth and character to the home.
Bolstered by both its size (combined total area is 640sqm) and the duality of its design, the building offers plenty of options for the aspiring buyer – whether you’re after the ideal space to double as both home and office, a fully-fledged commercial HQ or a sizeable home, there is enormous potential.
One of inner Sydney’s most covetable postcodes, Surry Hills has just about everything you could want in the home base. From local stalwarts such as Bourke Street Bakery,Bill’s and Toko to the seemingly never-ending roster of new bars, cafes shops opening along Crown Street, you will have no shortage of culture to enjoy. Some of our local go-to’s include Artificer Coffee for a caffeine hit, The Standard Store and Title for gifts and Maloney’s Grocer for the haul when hosting at home. Of course, just minutes away you also have Redfern, Darlinghurst and Paddington – making the opportunities to keep it local practically endless.
With its multitude of spaces, connection with the outdoors and architectural prestige this is a rare and precious property indeed. For the lucky future owner of this space, the opportunities really are endless. If you’re thinking that could be you, be sure to snap up an inspection by appointment only through Oxford.