Many projects start small and grow into something much bigger, but few would be on the scale of this project. It began with a proposed kitchen remodel to a high-end waterfront apartment on Finger Wharf, Woolloomooloo, and ended with an entire apartment refurbishment.
Managing director Justin Quinlan and project architect Jonathan Spicer of The Quinlan Group were initially contracted to design a new kitchen for the new owners of the apartment.
"It soon became clear there were spatial problems that couldn't be fixed by simply replacing the kitchen," Quinlan says. "For example, there was a large area in the centre of the apartment that seemed like wasted space. It was too narrow to be a dining room, but too wide for a corridor. It was also very dark, and there was a library-study that took up space at one side, blocking the view from the corridor."
Quinlan says the project plan subsequently grew in stages, eventually involving the gutting of most of the apartment. Walls were removed, the library-study and corridor disappeared, and the kitchen was moved to the other side of the building. This created one extra-large open-plan living space.
"Opening up the space brought in much more light from the east and allowed a view from the front door right through the apartment and out to the water beyond," the designer says.
Because the owners love to entertain on a grand scale, the apartment was divided into two distinct zones public and private.
"The interface between these two areas is a single continuous wall of joinery in a woodgrain design, which can open and shut in multiple configurations. For example, hidden doors in the wall open from the kitchen to an office and a butler's pantry. Another door hides the main hallway to the back bedrooms. This passage also houses a wine cellar."