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Private residence, Australia, Hess Hoen

Sydney, Australia, 2014, the architects of Brian Hess and Paul Hoen’s famous firm create a private residence with a skillful design mixing modernity and old elements. This residence is “The Hermitage ”, a Victorian house built in 1831, owned by the Hemmes family since 1974. The family home, "The Hermitage", which has become Justin Hemmes' main residence, undertakes its transformation under the shrewd eye of the Australian firm. The common thread? To preserve the historical integrity of the property while giving it a new life, a new impetus. 7,000 square meters to be redesigned, a major mission for Hess. To preserve the conviviality of the family home and the noble character of the materials, whilst exuding a Mediterranean and eclectic charm. The renovation involved the demolition of an extension built in 1960 and the opening of many spaces by using large windows, demolishing walls and displacing doors. The appearance of the imposing two-story residence has been completely redesigned to meet the requirements of a main residence, to allow fluidity of movement and functionality in everyday life. Relocating the kitchen and redesigning the dressing room are just a few examples of the many improvements made in this regard. A white steel spiral staircase and wide steel canopies give brightness and breadth to the house. The materials and furniture were chosen with the purpose of being part of the owner's life. Prioritizing comfort, ease of use, and utility with materials that blend into a century-old home, with a particular patina. In order not to stand in contrast with existing materials and give the house its special character, Hess offers bare clay walls, Moroccan Tadelakt, zellige tiles, oak floors... In short, ancestral materials treated with modernity. To continue this rewriting of history, contemporary and ancient, antiques and modern, local creations and editions of design furniture are mixed.

In the dining room, a chandelier by Lindsey Adelman diffuses its light on a BDDW table and Paola Navone's "Summer Arms chairs". In the living room, the B&B Italia "JJ rocking chair" by Space Furniture sits close to a Baxter "Chester Moon sofa" by Paola Navone. With subtlety they conceived a combination of furniture with contemporary accents that harmoniously mixes with ancestral materials. The key word? Light! Glass canopies open onto a garden with a castle look, the cut stones meet a decoration that mixes industrial, trendy, rustic and vintage styles. In this historic house on the seafront, they manage to preserve the essence of history while injecting into it current decorative elements with refinement and naturalness, without any shocking anachronism. Here, the new sublimates the old, everything matches harmoniously, the creations signed by Paola Navone match the solid hardwood floor, the Acapulco armchairs by Horne invite themselves onto the stone terrace, the Era bar stools by Michael Tonet run along the kitchen island with the feel of a country house... And everywhere, the zellige of Aït Manos punctuates this beautiful update of this Australian home. It finds its way into noble floors, it adorns a bathroom bathed in light, it gives the pool an exotic look, it gives graphics to the floors. The result? A residence open onto the sea with Mediterranean accents, a nobility that transcends time and a fiercely modern look.


Private residence




Hess Howen