Portal House

Young couple and baby
Simon Whitbread

Brief: To open up a dingy south facing Art Deco apartment in the beachside suburb of Manly into a bright and fresh family home for young family of three.

Challenges: Working with a south facing living space and the compartmentalised original plan with services, circulation and walls cutting up any usable living space.

Solutions: Remove walls surrounding kitchen and integrate the dining into the kitchen. A suspended open shelf with copper tube supports defines the lounge area from the dining and kitchen, while maintaining site lines through the home. A wall of built-in plywood shelving extends from entry hall to dining to living, changing from surfboard store, bar and media cupboard as it progresses. A central utility core consisting of laundry, kitchen storage and bulk storage frees up the rest of the house for living, with a sense of openness and space.

Highlights: Working with fantastic clients who were open to inventive new ways to conjure up space.