With an award-winning design team and one of Sydney’s best locations, the new Opera Residences is a significant contemporary addition to Sydney’s skyline. Embracing views to The Royal Botanic Gardens, the Sydney Opera House and the historic Rocks precinct, the building’s softly sculptural glass façade responds to the beauty found in the surrounding landscape, while its generous interiors have been further shaped by a collection of contemporary design pieces selected in collaboration with the design team at Space.
“We are fortunate to consistently work with beautiful furniture at Space – often installing pieces in significant, architect-designed spaces,” says David Hartikainen NSW State Manager at Space, “but it’s rare to combine this with a position that is smack-bang in the middle of one of the world’s greatest waterside locations.” Hartikainen is referring to Opera Residences, at Sydney’s Bennelong Point, a project he and his team has been working on for the best part of a year. With The Royal Botanic Gardens to the east, Sydney Opera House to the north and Circular Quay, the Rocks and the Sydney Harbour Bridge to the west, the building is certainly at the epicentre of everything cultural and culinary that Sydney has to offer.
The building was designed by highly-acclaimed Australian architecture practice Tzannes, in conjunction with international architecture firm Crone, who acted as executive architects. Delivering a complex interplay of sculptural forms that reflect the undulating bays and headlands of Sydney Harbour itself, the building is a significant contemporary landmark between the heritage buildings of Macquarie Street and the foreshore of Circular Quay. The beautiful curves of the façade translate to internal spaces that feel fluid and are flooded with natural light.
While the views are incredible, the interiors by UK architecture firm Make offer their own special qualities that can be enjoyed in parallel with the exquisite location. Designed to be subtle and timeless, both the public and private spaces within Opera have utilised quality materials that speak to a traditional artisan approach. The highly-considered finishes are luxurious but warm and inviting, with a mixture of oak, travertine, pale marble and copper. Chevron parquetry, wood-lined walk-in wardrobes and dramatic travertine bathrooms, reveal a rare attention to detail not often seen in multi-residential developments.
With ever present views that shift day to night through massive windows, the key question for Hartikainen was how to give the furniture and lighting a presence while maintaining the extraordinary vistas of each apartment. “Understanding the view lines within an interior is essential,” remarks Hartikainen, “particularly when working on a building such as Opera where the views are boundless, picture perfect and iconic at every turn. Understanding this core principle aides with the development of furniture set-outs and helps maximise the utility and flow of the interior.”
“A good interior should reflect the client’s current lifestyle and preoccupations but have the right balance of furniture and objects to allow for future adjustments and acquisitions.” David Hartikainen. Head of Special Projects and NSW Manager, Space Furniture
Hartikainen worked with the extensive range of modern classics and contemporary pieces from the Space collection, including designs from B&B Italia, Maxalto and Arflex. He managed to bring these selections together to create interiors that are nuanced, with strong sculptural designs such as the Mart chair by Antonio Citterio for B&B Italia, alongside Paolo Piva’s 80s classic, the Alanda glass topped coffee table with its op-art inspired wire base. Other highlights include outdoor furniture by Patricia Urquiola selected for its textural qualities, and the swooping lines of the Link dining table by Jakob Wagner.
For the interior scheme Hartikainen looked to the building’s surroundings, taking cues for the fabrics and surfaces from the colours found in the lush landscape of the Royal Botanical Gardens, and to the material palette of surfaces chosen by Make Architects. With Opera’s incredible location and often generous terraces, Hartikainen and his team worked hard to integrate inside and out, ensuring a seamless and relaxed flow that expands the interior experience.
“An interior is such an intensely personal thing so we work hard to draw those important cues out of our clients and deliver a result that they are proud of – not just when they walk in for the first time but for many years to come.” David Hartikainen. Head of Special Projects and NSW Manager, Space Furniture
For Space’s design team, the focus is always on creating unique and individual interiors that reflect the client’s personality and desires, irrespective of the building or location. “We pride ourselves on tailoring the choices to each individual need and taste, and we work to bring these elements into a cohesive whole,” Hartikainen reiterates. “Whether clients are looking for key furniture pieces to compliment what they already have, or an entirely new interior down to the table linen and glassware, we see it as closing the loop that started with the architect’s vision. The small details are as important to us as the grand gestures.”
Photographer: Martin Mischkulnig
Developer: Macrolink and Landream