Italianate House in Surry Hills by Renato D’Ettorre Architects | Yellowtrace

Italianate House in Surry Hills by Renato D’Ettorre Architects | Yellowtrace

Italianate House in Surry Hills by Renato D’Ettorre Architects | Yellowtrace

Italianate House in Surry Hills by Renato D’Ettorre Architects | Yellowtrace

Italianate House in Surry Hills by Renato D’Ettorre Architects | Yellowtrace

Italianate House in Surry Hills by Renato D’Ettorre Architects | Yellowtrace

 

Impossibly tall ceilings, perfectly formed vaults and archways, superbly restored sandstone walls, meticulously detailed retractable steel doors, gleaming brass kitchen to die for, bathrooms lined in slabs of heavenly marble… The list of drool-worthy features inside the Italianate House is nearly endless.

“The challenge was to convert the 1860’s building and the 1990’s office fit-out of grandiose style, into a contemporary family home for my clients,” explains Italian-born, Sydney-based architect Renato D’Ettorre, who formed his eponymous architecture practice in 1990.

The substantial alterations & additions project comprises four components – the three-storey terrace house for the family, the historic sandstone stables converted into guest quarters that will eventually accommodate ageing parents, restoration of rear stone fences and a new concrete carport with landscaped roof terrace and swimming pool.

Located in a conservation area of Sydney’s Surry Hills, the large L-shaped heritage listed terrace has undergone the bravest of transformations. A dramatic design intervention honours the legacy of the existing structure by clearly delineating the old from the new.

 

Italianate House in Surry Hills by Renato D’Ettorre Architects | Yellowtrace

Italianate House in Surry Hills by Renato D’Ettorre Architects | Yellowtrace

 

“The introduction of the impressive engineered double height brick vault seemed an appropriate element for the Italianate style house,” said D’Ettorre. The merging of contemporary architecture with historical grandeur gives rise to a new aesthetic that dodges an expected and formulaic approach to design.

The dialogue between the charm of the existing structure and precisely detailed new additions creates a relationship of mutual respect shared between the warmth of the old materials and the simplicity of the modern ones. Some of the main historical features were brought back to life, like the ornate marble fireplaces, central timber staircase and entry glass-panelled door with sidelight. Salvaged bricks, terracotta tiles, Carrara marble and white stuccoed walls are some of the key new materials introduced in the interior.

 

Italianate House in Surry Hills by Renato D’Ettorre Architects | Yellowtrace

Italianate House in Surry Hills by Renato D’Ettorre Architects | Yellowtrace

Italianate House in Surry Hills by Renato D’Ettorre Architects | Yellowtrace

Italianate House in Surry Hills by Renato D’Ettorre Architects | Yellowtrace

Italianate House in Surry Hills by Renato D’Ettorre Architects | Yellowtrace

Italianate House in Surry Hills by Renato D’Ettorre Architects | Yellowtrace

 

But, of course, like many exemplary works of residential architecture, Italianate House offers more than its impossibly good looks. Passive cooling, underfloor gas heating, hydronic radiators to the front terrace along with double glazing to the new openings and skylights deliver environmentally sustainable physical comfort. Similarly, collected rainwater irrigates the gardens and new vegetation used on balconies, garden walls and the green roof above the carport.

For Renato D’Ettorre and his team, the creation of evocative architecture with a strong sense of place and beauty is the primary objective of every project. The sort of architecture that satisfies the human need for textural and tactile expression, while calming or stimulating the senses through the clever use of light and shade, space and materiality. Italianate house delivers all these qualities in spades while achieving a sense of clarity that emphasises the ephemeral elements delivered by good architecture.

“The design generates a sense of wonder and awe both inside and out, encouraging the young growing family to explore and enjoy the various spaces with multiple sensory experiences and emotions,” concludes D’Ettorre. Through carefully considered restrained aesthetics and grandiose scale of monastic-style spaces designed for contemplation, Italianate house is set to serve this young family well into the 21st Century.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking – those lucky ducks.

 

 


[Images courtesy of Renato D’Ettorre Architects. Photography by Simone Bossi.]

 

About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor
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Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

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