William Smart-designed On Bourke in Surry Hills gets first sale

William Smart-designed On Bourke in Surry Hills gets first sale
William Smart-designed On Bourke in Surry Hills gets first sale

One of the apartments in the boutique low-rise Surry Hills project On Bourke has sold for $2.9 million.

The William Smart-designed complex, made up of just four whole floor apartments, are set to launch to the market in the next two weeks through BradfieldCleary agent Mark Daley.

The prices for the three remaining apartments range from $2.25 million to $2.6 million.

The proposed top storey of the building appears like a continuation of the neighbouring terrace house chimneys.

The facade has also continuity with its surroundings, with a dark bronze fence and balustrades referencing the metal fretwork of the nearby terraces.

Smart knows the area well. His office is just up the road from the Bourke Street project, and after the 2004 conversion, lives in the penthouse apartment above.

Caplis bought 471b Bourke Street in 2016. 

Off form concrete ceilings bring practical and visual benefits to the project.

The high end finish performs well thermally and allows maximum ceiling heights to be achieved while keeping the overall building height down.  

It will have minimal and elegant interiors, curved living spaces, oak timber floorboards, wool carpets and traditional hard set plaster finishes.

William Smart-designed On Bourke in Surry Hills gets first sale

The bathrooms evoke a luxury hotel feel, with stone mosaic curved walls, recessed pelmet lighting and metallic highlights.

Developer Luke Caplis at Freehold Capital has witnessed the drift in buyer desire to smaller, boutique developments with a recent project.

"After buying and developing an old mechanic workshop on the corner of Liverpool and Riley Street in Darlinghurst, I discovered the market was strong for high end apartments that stuck out from the everyday norm," Calpis said.

That project, called The Riley, was a conversion of the warehouse designed by SJB Architects, where prices hit $2.43 million.

Each had three levels and a rooftop pavilion with the master bedroom and terrace.

Caplis engaged The William Smart for the project after he spotted his award winning work on Indigo Slam, the Chippendale warehouse residence of Judith Neilson, the art dealing founder of the White Rabbit Collection.

The $8 million warehouse space was formerly the Simona fashion HQ before its conversion by Smart, whose intention was to provide the emerging urban precinct with a piece of interesting architecture.

Caplis's boutique Bourke Street project will have four whole floor apartments, with the overall height of the building not disturbing the historic streetscape.

"I enlisted William Smart to create something that simply does not exist in Surry Hills," Caplis said.

Smart has been involved in inner-city low-rise boutique apartment projects, which are quickly becoming the preferred apartment choice for many buyers, for almost two decades.

Essentially built to resemble living in a house more than an apartment, these low-rise development embrace a sense of neighbourhood community, rather than the hotel-like feel of residential skyscrapers.

William Smart-designed On Bourke in Surry Hills gets first sale

Born in New Zealand, and raised in rural Western Australia, Sydneysiders have got to know of William Smart's works since the late 1990s when he worked on the award-winning Olympic Park Rail station.

For the prior five years, he had been working for Gersau Architecture, a small architectural firm in the south of France, and with Foster and Partners in London. Smart turns 50 later this month.

The avowed Modernist has received critical acclaim with awards including the AIA Robin Boyd Award and AIA Wilkinson Awards for Residential Architecture, the World Architecture Festival INSIDE Award for World’s Best Residential Interior and numerous national interior design awards.

In 2017, at the Asia Pacific INDE Awards, founder William Smart was named winner of The Luminary, recognising the “ongoing contribution of an industry icon, whether casting a long shadow across many disciplines or excelling ahead of the pack in one”.

He founded Smart Design Studio in 1997 and has over 35 staff. He currently lives above his sandstone offices, with plans to relocate his home and practice to more industrial premises at Alexandria.

Smart had previously lived at one of his earliest projects, a 40 square metre Springfield Avenue apartment in Kings Cross.

As a first home buyer he paid $223,000 in 2002, selling for $478,000 in 2012. It featured in the 2004 book, 50 of the world's best apartments.

Dubbed Smart Apartment, it was a low-budget renovation of a one bedder in the Sandringham building which incorporated a sliding "art wall" by Tim Richardson. 

Surry Hills Architect

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