Claremont Street Residence: Old master welcomes in the new…

Claremont St Residence by Stern McCafferty Archtitects is the demonstration of a beautiful old building welcoming a new occupant with sophisticated ease. Aficionados of architectural history can rejoice for in Claremont St the original building has retained its character and values while taking a new direction in life.  Crucial to understanding the success of this project is the appreciation by Stern McCafferty of  this central fact.  From Stern McCafferty’s website: “…the desire to create simple, durable and beautiful projects, the necessity for these projects to be linked to the site, and the fundamental obligation of all work to reflect human needs and aspirations.”  Due to the architects embracing a less is more aesthetic in the treatment of internal walls, transitional spaces and ceilings etc the anatomy of the original architecture has not been undermined or forced upon aesthetically. Note the unobtrusive way internal walls connect to the exposed skeleton of the existing building – the almost intangible manner the home sits within the envelope of its predecessor; the Master bedroom ceiling and walls are a case in point.

The architect’s vision is clear in the respect they have shown the building which will endure into the 21st century. While the contemporary structure the inhabitants currently occupy is undeniably vibrant and singular it will almost certainly become subject to change within the next decade or so as typically occurs in the present day.

The splendid old construction brings with it the inherent authority of history; a timeline of materials, methods and ideas that were available to the architects at the time it was constructed.  This authority means that as long as contemporary interiors are coherently and sensitively designed this building will easily accommodate them because it is not intimidated by difference or contemporary aesthetics.  Waking up in such sophisticated circumstances each day must be like being in a perpetual and wonderful pantomime.  Living in a rich heritage building with a definitive and personal aesthetic so easily accommodated must be a great joy to the clients as it is a triumph for the architects.

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