30 Oct 2023 | 2 mins
Northbridge’s Perpetua - Sydney Morning Herald
Winner of the top architectural awards for best residence in both NSW and National Australia 1997. Discover the extraordinary, mid-century, waterfront, Snelling-designed ‘Perpetua'.
Perfectly orientated to North in one of Sydney most exclusive addresses, ‘Perpetua’ is a mid-century iconic landmark property. Designed and built in the 1950s by acclaimed architect Douglas Snelling as his family home, it integrates beautifully with the magnificent, absolute waterfront, 1,138 sqm site, enjoying sensational views of Sailors Bay and of the permanent nature reserve on the opposite shore.
So impressive was its restoration and sympathetic extension in 1997 by the multi-award winning architect, Alex Tzannes, that the home won the prestigious Robin Boyd Award by the Royal Australia Institute of Architects for the Best Residential House in the Nation and the Wilkinson Award for the Best Residential House in NSW.
Set well-forward of the adjacent houses, 'Perpetua' is a wonderfully private, peaceful sanctuary that is just 15 minutes from the CBD, and on a peninsula with no through-traffic. Each of the levels, accessed via lift from the off-street, car park, offers unique views and ambience, and access to a small private beach.
A series of decks and balconies, plus a stunning, fully tiled, teak-edged pool, embrace the panoramas through a canopy of the trees, whilst on the top floor, beauty unfolds dramatically. The integration and flow of indoor/outdoor living and entertaining spaces exemplifies Snelling’s mastery of the Frank Lloyd Wright and Southern Californian style, that he introduced to Australia. Snelling also used Feng Shui principles in the materials, layout and water features.
The property consists of a main house; a separate, self-contained (Loggia), waterfront apartment with its own entrance; and a separate, sandstone (Theatre) building, which can also be configured as a separate, self-contained apartment. The totality is a spacious family home which can have up to 5 bedrooms or, for an extended family, as a spacious 3+ bedroom house with multiple spaces and studies, and two additional, separate apartments, each with its own entrance.
The separate, sound-proofed, optimised, sandstone, Theatre building is fully equipped with a studio-quality, surround sound system, projector and screen for Home Theatre use, and a Performance stage that has been the venue for many concerts by live orchestras to audiences of over 50 people. An immense library wall has been built, able to accommodate the largest book collection, whilst a kitchenette, bathroom and 1800 bottle climate-controlled cellar complete this special space.
Additional features comprise a unique, Janet Lawrence art wall, reverse cycle a/c, a large workshop, built-in barbeque and an abundance of storage throughout. Gated and secured from the street, a double carport with a striking angled roof, reminiscent of its Frank Lloyd Wright influences, is matched by ample additional off-street parking.
'Perpetua' is a one-of-a-kind property, in a coveted dress-circle setting.