A 1963 Home Remodel Pays Homage to Oscar Niemeyer

Homage to Oscar

Text from Luigi Rosselli Architects

Sometimes alterations and additions can amount to significant interventions to breathe new life into a building, occasionally they require only the lightest touch to reinvigorate an existing design, as was the case with this Sydney home, designed in classic modernist style by the architect George Reeves in 1963.  

Homage to Oscar
Homage to Oscar
Homage to Oscar
Homage to Oscar

Overall our clients felt that the major elements of the layout of their home worked well, however the connections between the indoor and outdoor spaces were poor and the house was generally beginning to look its age, as such improving those connections and restoring and enhancing the home in line with the original architect’s intent were the main focus of this renovation.     

Homage to Oscar
Homage to Oscar
Homage to Oscar

Influences from the work of legendary Brazilian architect, Oscar Niemeyer are evident throughout the house, and no more clearly can this be seen than in the voluptuous form of the concrete awning that covers the entry and provides the first impression one receives when approaching via the lushly planted drive. 

Homage to Oscar
Homage to Oscar
Homage to Oscar
Homage to Oscar

Once inside those influences, and the broader design elements that anchor the home in the modernist era, continue in the form of carefully restored original features such as the single stringer and cantilevered switchback stair, and the sinuous curved ceiling bulkheads in the lounge, dining and kitchen spaces.  

Homage to Oscar

It is in these communal spaces where the light hand of the current renovation is most evident.  Skylights were added, and walls and heavily framed windows were removed to make way for barely there floor to ceiling steel and glass windows, which can be fully opened to draw in fresh air and light and foster a strong sense of connection between the interior and exterior rooms.  This connection is further enhanced by the restrained yet elegant colour and material palette – created by interior designer, Romaine Alwill – that allows the natural beauty of Will Dangar’s tropical and verdant landscape architecture to take centre stage. 

Homage to Oscar
Photos by Prue Ruscoe