August's At Home With The Architect Visits Woollahra

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This month 'At Home With The Architect' invites you to explore a residence in Woollahra. Taking place on Sunday 26 August, architect Andy Harding, one of the directors of Stanic Harding, will guide tour particants through the collaboration between Stanic Harding and interior designers Interni.

'The house was originally built in the 1930’s, however, it had been poorly renovated in the late 1980’s where many of the building's original features had been removed', said Andy Harding. The client’s desire was to refurbish the building bringing back the character of the original house whilst accommodating the requirements of a contemporary family.

The original entry to the house sat one level up from the street which was accessed via a narrow external stair with the main living level located on the next level and the bedrooms on the level above. To provide suitable access it was elected that an internal street level access be generated connecting to a lift and stair connecting all levels of the building. This required tunnelling under the existing house which proved to be a very complex proposition due to the “found” condition of the existing building fabric.

The result is a house which was driven by strong pragmatic and aesthetic requirements from the clients and the design team that sits comfortably within its elevated Woollahra setting.


Stanic Harding was established in 1989 when Andy Harding and Andrew Stanic formed a partnership. The practice is based in Bondi Beach and has been the recipient of numerous architectural and industry awards.

The firm undertakes both architectural and interior design across a variety of sectors, including residential, commercial, retail and public.

Stanic Harding's body of work reflects their commitment to the production of architecture that is of its time and that fuses a sensitive contemporary approach with functional and pragmatic requirements.


Interni is medium sized interior design firm established in 1989 and based in Surry Hills.

Headed by Louise Bell, one of the founding Directors, the firm specializes in residential, retail and commercial design.

Their body of work reflects their commitment to creating timeless interiors that respect the buildings they inhabit.


Location: Woollahra, NSW
Please note that the address and meeting point will only be forwarded to ticket holders in the days immediately before the tour.
Time: 2.00pm - 3.00pm
Date: Sunday 26 August 2018
Tickets: $35 (Early Bird) / $45 (Public) / $30 (AAA Members)

Don't miss your opportunity to experience this private residence, numbers are limited. Book your place on the tour, click here.

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  • Article: Annette Dearing & Vanessa Couzens
  • Images: Woollahra Residence designed by Stanic Harding and Interni (Images courtesy of Stanic Harding)

AAA Short Black: Visits Camperdown Cemetery

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Next month the Australian Architecture Association will hold a Short Black: Architects In Their Space Talk. Featuring one of the most unusual public spaces in Sydney - the walled landscape that is Camperdown Cemetery. On Saturday 8 September enjoy a talk and guided tour with the architect Hector Abrahams.

Created for burials in 1847, in just over twenty five years the cemetery was full and closed to burials. Over the subsequent 140 years it has developed a cultural profile of an ancient site, becoming the site of a major church, a graveyard of architectural relics, dramatically enclosed by its high stone wall in about 1950.

The tour will be led by Hector Abrahams, a former trustee and architect for the cemetery, who will attempt to explain something of the strategy for retaining its special qualities. He will tell the story of its history, celebrations, conservation of materials, stewardship and ecology.


Hector Abrahams Architects (HAA) is a Sydney based architectural practice recognised for their work on heritage projects, masterplanning and adaptive re-use.

Their portfolio includes work on public, commercial, educational, residential and church buildings of all sizes and styles.

The philosophy driving their designs is based on the understanding that old buildings have to be understood, kept well and made liveable and workable for people in today’s world. They believe that additions and new buildings should engage seamlessly with their surroundings.


Location: Meet underneath the fig tree, inside the gates, 189 Church Street, Newtown NSW 2042
Please Note:
Closed-in shoes must be worn on the tour.
Absolutely no parking is permitted in the cemetery.
Date: Saturday 8 September 2018
Time: 11.30am - 12.30pm
Tickets: $35 (Early Bird) / $40 (Public) / $30 (AAA Members) / Free (AAA Company Members)

Hurry tickets will sell out fast, so book now!

Click here to secure your place on the tour.

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AAA Short Black: Visits Little Albion Guest House

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This weekend the Australian Architecture Association will hold a Short Black: Architects In Their Space Talk. Featuring Sydney's latest luxury accommodation option the Little Albion Guest House in Surry Hills. On Saturday 18 August enjoy a talk and guided tour of spaces with project architect Terence Yong.

The architects - Terence Yong (Project Architect and principal of Terence Yong Architecture) and Chris Haughton (Principal of SHED), working in association with interior designers - Connie Alessi (Director of Archemy) and Cressida Kennedy (Director of Space Control Design), have created a unique experience for luxury travellers looking to immerse themselves in the character of Surry Hills.

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Situated in the heart of Surry Hills, Little Albion Guest House fronts two streets – Albion Street and Little Albion Street. It occupies a tiny North-South-oriented urban infill site in a densely built urban environment, and hence it is deprived of natural sunlight. It is sandwiched between two heritage buildings – a former Presbyterian church to the West, which is now a hip commercial office building, and a former school hall to the East, which is now a mixed-use apartment building. All three buildings form part of a Heritage Conservation Area.

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Reception and All-Day Sunken Lounge on the Lower Ground Floor and two levels of sun-bathed guest rooms above with neighbourhood and city views. The New Western Extension has three levels of sun-bathed guest rooms with expansive popout, steel-framed picture windows with banquette seating. Both extensions appear as vertical white brick boxes that are separated by a tall and sleek, attention-grabbing Glass Lift Tower.

8Hotel's founder and chief executive Paul Fischmann said travellers are all about the experience and are shifting more towards the boutique end of the market to "immerse themselves in a city".

The talk will be followed with an opportunity to go inside some of the rooms with the architect.

Delightfully intimate, genuinely original & refreshingly unpretentious, Little Albion is the embodiment of the local guest house experience reimagined for the modern luxury traveller.

Behind a beautifully restored heritage former convent lays a world of tantalizing interior delights & surprises awaiting your discovery at every turn.

The building is capped with a North-facing, beautifully landscaped Secret Rooftop Garden with sweeping views of the city.


Location: Meet Little Albion Guesthouse entrance, 21 Little Albion Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Date: Saturday 18 August 2018
Time: 2.00pm - 3.00pm
Tickets: $35 (Early Bird) / $40 (Public) / $30 (AAA Members) / Free (AAA Company Members)

Hurry tickets will sell out fast, so book now!

Click here to secure your place on the tour.

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  • Article: Annette Dearing & Vanessa Couzens
  • Image 1: Little Albion Guest House entry
  • Image 2: Little Albion Guest House from Little Albion Street
  • Image 3: Little Albion Guest House sunken lounge and reception
  • Image 4: Little Albion Guest House suite
  • Photographer: Terence Yong

The Tapestry Of An Inner City Social and Built Environment

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AAA Volunteer - Deborah Singerman shares her recent experience of the AAA's newest inner city tour - the Ultimo Walk.


The AAA’s first-ever Ultimo Walk started on a blustery June morning outside the Powerhouse Museum. It was also tour leader Michael McMullan’s first AAA venture. Probably sensibly, he did not dwell on the NSW State Government’s wish to relocate the museum west to Parramatta and rejig the existing site into a commercial, residential and creative mix.

After all, this part of town is used to mutability, its gritty history covering industry, education, cultural and community buildings. McMullen’s snapshot of the inner-city took in a formerly grand residence, a still popular technical college, an Olympian’s swimming pool, a modernist building, an urban design and landscaped transformation, and an educational institution that has spawned many nicknames and a few benefactor controversies of its own.

“History has been a hobby of mine since I was five would you believe. Not just dates or events but the whole social history context.”

This approach fed into his commentary as we walked briskly (gee, it was cold) through this varied part of town.

Ultimo House was built by convict labour in 1804 for surgeon John Harris on his estate at Ultimo and extended in 1814 by the convict architect Francis Greenway. It was Greenway's first colonial commission. In its now nondescript inner-city location it is hard to imagine it as a country seat with a park grazed by deer. Yet, as one of Sydney's grand residences, Ultimo House, had a renowned history with Harris leasing it out to prominent tenants. At the time of its demolition, in 1932, it was said to be the oldest standing house in Sydney.

On what was the largest site for technical education in NSW, in 1891 Sydney technical college, museum and two high schools, one for boys, the other for girls, were constructed. The intricacy of the façade detailing of Australian flora and fauna particularly impressed us.

The roof’s undulating grandeur marks the Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre, Harry Seidler’s last public building, the clean, steel and glass structure such a contrast to area’s older brickwork. By the by, McMullan also pointed out the nearby Jessie Street (named after women’s rights advocate, 1889-1970) National Women’s Library and further along, the Durbach Block Jaggers-designed Le Corbusier Building, which shows his five principles of windows. It houses University of Technology Sydney Science and the Graduate School of Health.

Behind Central station we walked the Goods Line, the disused rail corridor that Aspect Studios in collaboration with design partners CHROFI transformed into a vibrant civic corridor for events, recreation and relaxing in an unexpectedly open space.

We ended up at the UTS business school, better known as the “paper bag” building or Dr Chau Chak Wing Building, within the complex. After admiring the hours and hours of brickwork involved and the 14 different types of brick used, we went inside and wound down the mirrored “crumpled” staircase of this Frank Gehry showpiece.

McMullan is a former forester, IT manager, contract manager of business change projects, and holder of an economics degree, which included Australian history. “My interests are the natural environment, the built environment, and the forces that drive change and progress. I have a sense of history, so I can stand in an environment and ‘feel’ the flow of what led to where we are.”

He is also long-time secretary of the AAA.


Experience the Ultimo Walk this month. 

Meeting Point: Powerhouse Museum Forecourt, 500 Harris Street, Ultimo NSW 2007
Date: 10.00am - 12.00pm
Time: Saturday 21 July 2018
Tickets: $30 (public) / $25 (Seniors & Students) / AAA Members Free
Please note - concession ticket holders should present their ID on the tour day.

Click here to secure your place on the tour. Numbers are limited so book your ticket now!


Deborah is a professional writer and editor. She offers services to small business, industry and professional associations and creatives looking for crisp, credible copy showcasing business, products and services in a professional light.

If you are looking for assistance delivering content for print and digital media you can contact Debra through her website:

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  • Article: Deborah Singerman
  • Image 1: Tour leader Michael McMullan talks about the Powerhouse Museum (Photographer: Annette Dearing)
  • Image 2: Dr Chau Chak Wing Building - UTS Business School, designed by Frank Gehry. (Photographer: Vanessa Couzens)

At Home With The Architect Visits Kirribilli

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This month 'At Home With The Architect' invites you to explore Doorzien House a residence in North Sydney's Kirribilli.

Taking place on Sunday 15 July, architect Melonie Bayl-Smith, Director of Bijl Architecture will guide tour participants through their architectural reworking of an existing semi-detached residence.

Designed for a couple looking to abandon their nomadic lifestyle, Doorzien House is the result of their desire for a 'forever' home. 'Doorzien' in Dutch means 'see through' and the house is designed to open up to as many lines of view as possible to take advantage of natural light and a spectacular vista of the Harbour.


Bijl Architecture was established in 2012 by architect Melonie Bayl-Smith and is already the recipient of numerous architecture and construction industry awards.

The practice has worked on a variety of projects including work across residential, interiors, commercial and public sectors, with a focus on a collaborative approach to each project working closely with clients, consultants and builders.

The practice’s design philosophy identifies that inherent flexibility and intentional longevity are key to creating sustainable architecture, from the viewpoints of aesthetics, functionality, economy and the total environment.


Location: Kirribilli, NSW
Please note that the address and meeting point will only be forwarded to ticket holders in the days immediately before the tour.
Time: 2.00pm - 3.00pm
Date: Sunday 15 July 2018
Tickets: $35 (Early Bird) / $45 (Public) / $30 (AAA Members)

Don't miss your opportunity to experience this private residence, numbers are limited. Book your place on the tour, click here.

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  • Article: Vanessa Couzens
  • Images: Castlecrag Residence designed by Bijl Architecture (Photographer: Katherine Lu, images courtesy of Bijl Architecture)