Lawless & Meyerson’srestoration of a waterfront apartment in Woolloomooloo, Sydney, honours both the 1990s building it occupies and the heritage-listed wharf it rests upon.
The Finger Wharf on the Sydney Harbour was built between 1910 and 1915 and has become a cherished part of Woolloomooloo’s history. After narrowly escaping demolition in the late 1980s due to public outcry, the wharf was transformed into a boutique hotel, apartments and hospitality precinct, bearing cultural significance that has made it highly sought-after in recent years. Lawless & Meyerson were tasked with reviving one of these waterfront homes for a young couple, crafting a serene space that embraced the building’s historical character and enviable location.
The base palette consists of limed oak herringbone flooring, Savannah marble benchtops and fresh white painted walls.
The kitchen features a Smeg gas cooktop, oven, rangehood and combi-microwave.
The palette was selected to make the apartment feel light and relaxed, with the views doing most of the talking.
Lawless & Meyerson co-director Jo Lawless notes that the architectural bones of the apartment, including its voluminous ceilings with exposed beams, steel trusses and large industrial-like windows, “did all the work”, leading her team to shape spaces that built on the home’s inherent charm.
The original layout included a second bedroom that borrowed too much light from the living spaces, which was removed and turned into one spacious bedroom. “The client wanted a one-bedroom apartment for everyday living and working, as well as entertaining,” Jo affirms. Instead of separating the bedroom with a solid wall, Lawless & Meyerson approached it more like a boutique hotel, installing white steel-framed glass doors with linen curtains, softly marking the threshold between public and private. “This way, the different areas are always connected, and the view can be seen from everywhere all of the time – the maritime history is evident,” Jo says.
The palette was approached to make the apartment feel light and relaxed, evoking the feeling of being on holiday. The existing wall-to-wall carpet was stripped and replaced with limed oak herringbone flooring; Savannah marble was used for the benchtops; the walls were painted a fresh white, like the caps of the waves in the harbour. In a coalescence of textures, linen sofas, canvas and chrome Knoll Wassily chairs, and concrete coffee tables rest upon a custom sisal rug in the living area.
“When you live in a piece of history with a spectacular view, it’s about looking out not in,” Jo attests.