Interior architecture of the new Smart Design Studio in Sydney is the unifying design language of this welcoming and urban campus. It is integral and finely calibrated to the architectural envelopes – resolutely new and innovative structures and an industrial heritage fabric reused in an adaptive manner. In each of the interior spaces, daily usage and activity habits are carefully anticipated and taken into account, and privileged moments of interaction and engagement are celebrated. This renovation is an architectural calling card for its architectural occupants and is a testament to Smart Design Studio’s approach to the practice of architecture (across scales and types of buildings) and its commitment to advancing the discourse and l innovation in sustainability.
Upon arrival into the formal reception hall, a first glance through the elegant steel-framed glazing along the west edge of the street, the language of the interior is evident. The floor plan is a warm hue, a landscape of terracotta tiles that unifies the smaller and larger spaces on the ground floor. The functional workplace and residential spaces – arranged over two floors and fitted with targeted bespoke joinery, calibrated to accommodate, engage and occupy – are inhabited by elegant furniture arrangements and carefully displayed artwork.
Below, the architectural envelope is so crisp and white that it threatens to blend into the intense clarity of Sydney’s light as it floods the jagged roof and delicate trusses; it is the lasting image of the naturally lit and ventilated design studio. In this main room of the ensemble, five linear desks are used by the studio teams as a reception base, objects of daily practice – models, samples, prototypes, etc. – being valued.
The philosophy of Smart Design Studio is skillfully integrated into the fabric of the building, the refined relationship between interior and exterior being an integral part of this approach and of the excellence of this project.
– Smart Design Studio (Stokes 14) was reviewed by Katelin Butler in Architecture Australia in May / June 2021.
Architect: Smart design studio; Group project: William Smart, Jo Ann Kok, Rosie Ives, Andy Ostojic, Josephine Cabezas, Goldie Peligrino, Huw Duncan, Ron Keir, Clayton Doueihi, Hon Loong Teng, Jarrod Van Veen; Manufacturer: AJ Bristow and sons; Structural engineer: Northrop consulting engineers; Mechanical engineer: Genie Froster; Acoustic engineer: ADP Consulting; Arborist: Jacksons Nature Works; Basix Consultant: Graham Hunt; Primary certification authority: BCA Australia; Electricity advisor: Umow Lai; Contamination consultant: Getex; Ecological advisor: the Carbon Reduction Institute; Heritage advisor: City Heritage Plan; Hydraulic consultant: Sparks and partners; Landscape consultant: Christophe Owen; Lighting advisor: Steensen Varming; Planning advisor: Urbis; Surveyor: Geometra Consulting; Quantity surveyor: QS Plus; Development of specialized vaults: SUT; Traffic advisor: Inco traffic management; Other consultants: Quisinh Tran
Smart Design Studio is located in Alexandria, New South Wales, on the lands of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation.