Many residential architects in Sydney note that homeowners in the NSW capital are well versed in architecture; they can give credit for this to the popularisation of architectural thinking through TV shows such as Grand Designs, but the diversity of Sydney’s residential property stocks also provides a visual treasure trove of inspiration.
Broadly speaking, residential architects working in the Sydney market agree that current tastes encompass two key trends representing opposing ends of the design spectrum, from the very new, to the classic and traditional.
In terms of the former, home builders in NSW are frequently asked to recreate the modernist aesthetic for clients who are seeking out a stylish, low key way of life that reflects modern tastes and caters to a desire for functional yet harmonious spaces. You can see examples of this in any inner suburban furniture store catering to Sydneysiders’ ongoing love affair with ‘Mid-Century Modern’ design, echoed by the architecture of Harry Seidler.
“In terms of housing design, this translates to an emphasis on clean lines, simple materials, spatial flow, inside to outside living and natural light,” says Felton Constructions’ founder Michael Milosevic.
In fact, Felton Constructions is one Sydney builder that has created its own ‘Contemporary’ home aesthetic, picking up on the modernist heritage influencing so many residential architects in Sydney; characterised by linear architecture, open plan living and ample light, these modern designs can be custom designed to suit any location.
By contrast, Milosevic also notes that many Sydney home builders are responding to a kind of longing for heritage aesthetics embodied by the burgeoning popularity of traditional homes. There’s a caveat to this however, as clients often still want many of the modern conveniences in terms of room placement (ensuites next to bedrooms for example, or open plan kitchens). Thankfully most councils recognise this trend and now give the go-ahead to internal upgrades that make this possible, with the result that there’s plenty of work for residential architects in Sydney who specialise in “making the old new again.”
However some homebuilders in Sydney are responding to demand for the beauty of time honoured design mixed with modern functionality by creating modern custom built homes that pay accurate aesthetic homage to older buildings. Felton Constructions is one example of this trend, having responded to demand with its Classical and Colonial style homes. The former honours the European heritage of Georgian architecture typified by a sense of elegant proportion, articulated facades and classical pilasters and pediments, while the latter takes the sweeping verandas, horizontal dynamism of heritage Australian architecture as its influence.
“For any builder Sydney provides endless opportunities in terms of interesting site locations and the requirements of a very sophisticated clientele,” says Milosevic. “Felton Constructions enjoys working at both ends of the design spectrum; whether it is to create the ultimate contemporary home characterised by clean lines and inspiring spaces, or to pay tribute to the great traditions of architecture while keeping in mind the needs of modern life.”