Historic house beats super-smart pads


It seems churlish to carp but you wonder where Australian architecture’s heads are at given that, for the eighth time in 10 years, the winner of the top prize for a home in the annual Residential Design Awards goes to a house.

Forget the super-smart use of space in the short-listed Darlinghurst apartment, or the innovative use of light and moveable shapes in short-listed Horizon apartment redesign, the gong went, predictably, to a house.

That said, it is one hell of a house and and interior design practice Smart Design Studio have done something special with Orama, a grand Victorian villa in Sydney’s Woolhara.

So how’d they pull it off?  Smart’s designers extended the existing historic home with a modern concrete and glass pavilion seamlessly. With their client’s large art collection a unique factor to consider, Orama was reborn as a liveable family home that “retains the beauty, grace and substance of the villa’s original foundations.”

See what all the fuss is about by clicking through to our gallery of Orama below.

Meanwhile, it may be time the Australian Interior Design awards had a separate section for apartments, just so the clever use of limited space isn’t crushed by the sheer size and scope of projects like Orama which is, admittedly, a worthy winner. Back to the drawing board, say we!



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