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    Australian furniture retailer transforms Sydney penthouse into its gallery

    Geraldine Chua

    Sydney-based furniture and homewares retailer and wholesaler Spence & Lyda have teamed with Crown Group to transform an inner-city three-bedroom penthouse, effectively “bringing the outside world in”.

    Located in Sydney’s Waterloo suburb, the Viking by Crown penthouse was styled by Spence & Lyda’s founder Fiona Spence, who previously had a career in costume design, including styling music videos for the likes of Michael Jackson and Phil Collins.

    “When I first walked into the apartment I was drawn to the living room and the outdoor space,” said Spence on what inspired the interior furnishings.

    “We were standing there as the sun went down and I was struck by the amazing quality of natural light. We worked with the apartment’s own elements to bring that light in.”

    She chose an eclectic combination of unique pieces, such as an old Javanese wooden cart refashioned into a coffee table, woven wicker chairs sourced from Denmark, and porcelain lights hand thrown in Melbourne.

    Art by Guy Maestri and Camie Lyons from the Olsen Irwin Gallery are the focal point on the walls.

    The building’s design and location also contributed to the interior style of the penthouse.

    “We wanted to dress the space in such a manner that visitors have a sense of the personality of the people living here, or soon to be,” said Spence.

    “The architecture is general is inspirational, from the generosity of the arched entry void to the interesting use of moveable screens for light and heat regulation. The scheme is considered and well put together so designing an interior for it was a pleasure.”

    Designed by MPRDG architects, the 10 storey building is located on a narrow wedge shaped island site. It is inspired by the work of internationally-renowned Israeli artist Yaacov Agam, founder of the post-war kinetic art movement and creator of ground-breaking sculptures, paintings and architecture.

    All 110 apartments in Viking by Crown feature floor-to-ceiling glass, a wide loggia and views to the CBD and adjoining parklands. Coloured panel louvres are expected to create an ever-changing hue on the building’s façade.

    Facilities include a 25 metre swimming pool, a fully equipped gym, and a ground-floor terrace café. 

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