Smart Design Studio - Sydney Architects

Mansfield Appleton

This apartment renovation came with a particularly challenging brief: to accommodate a couple and at times their children and even their children’s friends during the renovation of an 80-square metre apartment (including the bathroom and laundry facilities). The goal was to attain a calm, monastic feel in an a priori very busy space. This led us to question the very nature of flexibility – and come to the conclusion that true flexibility should be absolutely open-ended in its possible outcomes.


The apartment’s north-east outlook, combined with the building’s structural grid establishes a rhythm of prescribed spaces – the grid provides three rooms of roughly equal size along the eastern wall, the northern most of which opens to the kitchen, dining and entry and forms the living space.


The middle space is completely flexible – operating either as an extension of the living area (with daybed) or as another private sleeping area with two large, pivoting wooden doors. The two remaining  rooms form the master and guest bedrooms and are connected by a hallway, defined on one side by a timber storage wall, but into which the rooms loosely extend as implied by carpet squares inlaid into the Sadlerstone floor. This extreme flexibility means the apartment can be opened, with space and light freely flowing between corridors and rooms.



The second bedroom needed to be extremely supple – capable of accommodating two teenage children, who also need a study area – but also fully useable when they are absent. So a daybed system allows reclining views to the east, but its also readily convertible into a fully-enclosed room via articulated wall/storage systems. A trundle bed provides the additional stop gap should all children be in on the same night. The same approach was applied to the bathroom, where a separate toilet, laundry, bathroom and wine fridge are divide by a multi-purpose door, revealing one then the other, according to need. Completed 2008.



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