Architecture firm Pohio Adams was engaged to design the renovation of a stately 200-year-old Georgian terrace home in Sydney for a growing family.

Featuring a robust materials palette consisting of rough-hewn sandstone, corten steel, white burnished concrete and a dramatic black steel staircase sculpturally connecting the three levels of the home, Paddington House projects an industrial, urban aesthetic that resonates with its original Georgian roots.

According to Chris Adams, co-director of the practice founded with Bianca Pohio, the project’s success was dependent on unlocking and realising the potential of the lower ground floor, which could only be achieved by removing an old staircase that blocked the northern aspect, thereby introducing light, outlook, and a ‘hugely improved spatial experience’. Additionally, the rawness of the huge blocks of exposed sandstone not only lent an industrial aesthetic but also visually connected the heritage home with the new design.

Taking a contemporary approach, the kitchen and scullery areas have been redesigned with several freestanding joinery pieces raised off the ground. Commenting on the multifunctionality of the scullery space, Adams said it accommodated a clean-up area with a large tub and dishwasher, food storage and prep area, storage space for the kids’ schoolbags and sportsgear, and even excess laundry.

The freestanding pieces in the kitchen and scullery include a kitchen island, bench units and a fridge ‘block’. Slate benchtops with steel angle-edges, thin steel shelving and elegant teak veneer cabinetry reference the home’s overall industrial aesthetic while balancing the weight of the stone and exposed steel ceiling beams.

About using freestanding joinery pieces, Adams explained that they allowed the kitchen to sit as a series of furniture pieces within the lower ground floor area, adding both simplicity and singularity to the space. The use of integrated kitchen appliances by Fisher & Paykel Appliances played a key role in creating this effect that allowed the joinery to be viewed as simple, elegant pieces of furniture.

Fisher & Paykel CoolDrawer’s multifunctionality, which provides a drink cooler, freezer or refrigerator as required, added flexibility in the family kitchen while also allowing easy access to, and excellent visibility of contents.

“The shift to appliances which are fully integrated is what we love most though,” says Adams. “The ability to make things disappear, or, in the case of this kitchen, create a joinery block just to house the fridge – it works for us.”

About specifying the leading kitchen appliances brand for the Paddington House, Adams explained that Fisher & Paykel’s engagement with architects and designers during the development of their products was a major reason – they especially appreciated seeing their inputs in the final product.

Paddington House is an excellent example of contemporary design blending beautifully into the heritage character of the house, helping create a robust family home with a refined edge.

Architect: Pohio Adams Architects

Location: Sydney, AU

Photographer: Katherine Lu

Based on the article written by Rose Onans, which originally appeared in ‘The Local Project’