Smart Design Studio - Sydney Architects


The genesis of Fig Tree Pocket, four buildings ranged around a grand fig tree in a leafy corner of the Newmarket precinct in Randwick, was its bold angled precast concrete blades. Designed to manage privacy and sun, these rhythmical vertical elements rise and fold to form elevated roofs over the clerestory windows serving the top floor apartments.

At key locations, angles on the the façade give way to gentle curves, softening the language of the building and subtly and positively managing the way occupants enjoy sun, light, air and outlook. Openings are generous where connected to expansive outdoor private terraces and balconies, yet arranged to provide enclosure and comfort to internal spaces elsewhere, framing views to the landscaped setting or to the wider surrounds.

Façades oriented towards the adjacent heritage buildings are intentionally calm and ordered, with almost classical proportions designed to recede and allow the existing structures to take prominence. Here, the blades of the façade balance outlook with privacy, allowing appreciation of the external green spaces, the private landscaping, the park and the heritage square, surrounding this precinct of 165 large and high-quality apartments.

Apartment interiors are underpinned by a concept of “Tailored Simplicity”. This concept links inside to out, responding to the strong geometry and rigour of architectural elements, as well as the setting within a green landscaped court, existing parkland and sculptural trees. Apartment planning allows for natural light to reach deep inside and for streamlined living, encompassing long “art walls” and simple planes. Rooms have serene proportions, easily furnishable by residents, with natural light the main decorative element.

Interior materials are selected in response to the architectural fabric, continuing strong and luxurious finishes within. Timber flooring options are soft, muted in colour, with a parquet style layout, referencing European styling and a tailored feel. Bathroom wall tiles directly reference the beautiful precast concrete on the façade. The effect inside is to introduce a gentle warmth to bathrooms, balanced by the sheen of the mirrored cabinets.

Flush transitions between internal and outdoor space are designed to allow residents to fully enjoy Sydney’s temperate coastside environment. Balcony and terrace tiles are carefully selected to be both elegant in finish and layout, yet robust and low maintenance. Close-up, façades are detailed with unique and graceful forms that angle overhead.