At the summit of Bellevue Hill, a residential neighborhood of Sydney, Luigi Rosselli Architects has recently redesigned the interiors of Peppertree Villa. The skilfully designed late 1920s home references the classical architecture that was popular in Australia at the time. The Mediterranean-style villa expressed the classicism through its grand entry portico on the side of the house, magnificent fireplaces and well-proportioned rooms in its interior.
The aim of the Luigi Rosselli Architects improvements was to provide better flows between the various living spaces, open the spaces up to a new garden, and add a new basement garage, an attic room and a back yard swimming pool. A new stair was also added due to the necessity to connect the two new levels to the rest of the house, and to provide a more inviting ascension to the bedrooms on the upper floors.
The resulting stair takes the form of a suspended sculptural ribbon entirely detached from the walls of the stairwell. Luigi had to jump up and down on the treads to convince both the client and the builder of its strength and stability before they would consent to remove the temporary supporting props.
Every aspect of the design of the house was carefully workshopped by the client, a renowned fashion designer, project architect Jane McNeill, and interior designer Romaine Alwill. Romaine’s mastery of architectural finishes brought the introduction of lush, tactile elements such as the stucco lucido (polished plaster), brass metalwork, solid timber panelling, resin based wall claddings and bronze finishes to the cabinets.
On the ground floor, small timber windows have been replaced by larger, finely framed steel windows that offer uncluttered openings onto a new Myles Baldwin designed garden where the Peppertree still stands, casting a soft, dappled light across the walls and grounds of this villa reborn.