632 Bourke Street has been transformed from a warren of boarding house rooms to a contemporary office and living space, HQ of Smart Design Studio. Formerly two adjoining terraces with rear stables, the building occupies a prominent corner position in Surry Hills; its length faces due north and provides an important streetscape to the shared pedestrian roadway of Ridge Street. Conceived as a contemporary steel and glass insertion within an existing masonry shell, the building consists of two levels of studios and a rooftop apartment.
The existing shell of the building has been retained, large vertical apertures cut through to reveal a layer of glass louvres framed by deep stainless steel casements. A rigorous grid informed the design approach for the whole building – from the steel structure to tiling set-out, workspaces and joinery and lighting – establishing coherency throughout the building.