Sitchu Living

HOME TOUR “Wewanted a low-maintenance garden that was very bold from the inside looking out.” – Will Dangar ‘‘ I n a place where sun-kissed days and ocean swells are always high on the agenda, the iconic scenes of Bondi are minutes away from Bismarck House – a must-book architecturally designed holiday rental. It’s a reimagined semi-detached federation home that runs alongside a laneway with a defining garden and unique design created as an urban oasis amid the bustle of Bondi. BismarckHouse is thework of celebrated landscape designerWill Dangar and his wife Julia who collaborated with Andrew Burges Architects (ABA) and interior design consultants David Harrison and Karen McCartney to create a living space that redefines the way we connect with our natural and built environments. Will and Julia’s brief was direct and layered. They wanted to experiment withmaterials to establish a home that demonstrates how considered design could improve the type of buildings around Bondi while also using the project as an opportunity to showcase the tailored work of Will’s landscape design company, Dangar Barin Smith. “Compared to the typical semi-detached dwelling, we felt the laneway required a much more creative response,” explains Andrew Burges, principal of Andrew Burges Architects. “Instead of looking straight into the rear of adjacent properties, we started shaping geometries that created longer, oblique views down the lane. It also created opportunities for light, privacy, and ventilation, shaping the garden as a buffer to the laneway.” Sculpted spaces and robust materials left in their raw state links the house and garden with brick and mortar washed walls, concrete floors, a timber window seat, and raw steel-framed glazing. Walls of glass flood the living spaces with natural light, framing the gardens and the urban backdrop, while curved skylights draw in the ever-changing movement of the sky above. Yet it’s the oversized kitchen window that opens directly onto the laneway that gives the home an unexpected moment and connection with the outside world. “The kitchen captures beautiful light throughout the day through the skylight, and the American oak shelves and drawers fill the space with warmth,” says Andrew. “The kitchen bench window, with the sliding timber screen, is a beautiful place to sit and interact with passers-by in the laneway.” Upstairs, the home takes on a more monolithic palette. “The interior is defined by a fine set plaster applied to the walls and ceilings, with concrete floors and galvanised steel handrails creating a very tight colour palette,” explains Andrew. “The fine set plaster is both sensuous to touch and beautifully responsive to light while retaining an abstract monolithic quality.” Anchoring the living spaces and bedrooms are the textured vintage furnishings and lighting. Their muted colour palette sits subtly within a home where the garden and indoor plants are the hero elements. “The inspiration for the garden startedwith themature euphorbia tree planted outside the wall in the lane, so we kept it and the succulent theme came from it,” says Will. “The Bismarck palm I found at the nursery, and I absolutely love these palms… it’s a beautiful, majestic landmark and the ABA design hugs the trunk, which looks beautiful from the inside.”