Little Albion Guest House, and opened this July 2018, the project was born out of an original 1903 Federation era convent, and complemented by a new angular extension in white ceramic brick, steel and glass which echoes the neighbouring brutalist architecture that rose in the latter part of the 20th century.
“I was compelled to deliver quite a strong 1970’s feel to the extension by incorporating one of the hallmarks of that period, the sunken lounge”, says Kennedy. “From this foundation point we threaded the design aesthetics of both the 1920’a and the 1970’s in order to create an altogether engaging and inspiring interior which seeks to both arrest and assure upon entry”.
The interiors feature bold clashes of colour and print juxtaposed against fanned American walnut that is applied across bedheads and cabinetry and finessed with brass detailing. Original printed linen curtains by Kerrie Brown Designs featuring floral, geometric and paisley patterns segue to handsome custom made 20’s inspired brass trimmed mirrors in wet areas, alongside bold geometric cement tiles and bronze tapware reminiscent of early industrial age, and all anchored by classic marble flooring in tones of charcoal and chalk. Arresting artworks by the aesthetic alchemist and renowned photographer, Nicholas Samartis, provide a perfect foil to the spaces which curiously appear to resonate somewhere amidst the noir haze of decade’s past and the ‘here and now’ pulse of this vibrant and uber creative enclave that is Surry Hills today.
The design also makes light work of the high ceilings, tight angles and irregular alcoves found in the original convent building which Kennedy then somewhat uncharacteristically infuses throughout the new build section where terrazzo tiles, timber panelled ceilings and graphic motif papered walls likewise appear to elegantly oscillate between the old world and the new. The result sends its puritan aesthetic of the past forward full throttle, fusing it with a gold tiled and purple leather clad future that is distinctively more rock ‘n roll and absolutely spot on for its contemporary target audience.