Perched atop a hill with enviable waterfront views, Sydney home ‘Highcliff’ was originally built in 1904 but underwent an extensive renovation recently after it was purchased by Sean and Shelley Anderson in 2015. “The position of the house was stunning, but the existing building was quite traditional in its appearance and layout. I wanted a modern industrial aesthetic and something quite different from the house that we bought,” says Shelley of the stunning four-bedroom, three-bathroom home.
Architect Celia Carroll was employed to transform the home for the couple, but heritage restrictions meant preserving the existing footprint, roofline and beautiful street façade. “We retained the shell of the original house but dissolved the hall and the dysfunctional interior rooms to engage with the house’s dramatic siting and views to the north,” says Celia.
The architect commenced the project by removing the many separate rooms of the existing downstairs level before adding an open-plan kitchen and rear wing addition complete with a dining and lounge that leads out to a picturesque deck and pool area.
Bringing the owners’ vision to life, the new addition features a large section of polished concrete floor, a cathedral ceiling with skylights and new exposed brick walls – perhaps one of the more notable aesthetic choices and one that was a ‘must-have’ for the owners. Off-white bricks and matching mortar certainly do imbue the new rooms with an extra layer of texture and cool.
“The PGH Morada brick is a very robust material which suited the site with its sandstone outcrops and house positioned on the ridge. And it complements the brick house that has been on the site for over 100 years, but in a modern way,” says Celia. One of the exposed brick walls runs seamlessly along the interior of the rear extension out to the BBQ area, blurring the line between indoors and out.
“We love it. The entire house was modernised internally but it’s the details, like the ladder to the loft space above one of the bedrooms, that make the design special to us,” says Shelley.
Photography: Chris Warnes