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Surry Hills apartment by Josephine Hurley

Tom Ferguson

This warehouse conversion led by Josephine Hurley Architecture is in one of Sydney’s most recognised heritage buildings, the distinctive Edwards & Co. building. The building is wedged into a narrow street in the fast regenerating inner-city suburb of Surry Hills. Formerly a tea factory in the 1920s and more recently an advertising agency, the brief was to breathe new life into the 300-square-metre space as a private residence that spans two levels. Level 6 with the iconic arched windows was completely gutted and the former caretaker’s office was demolished and replaced with a guest retreat on the roof, located behind the emblazoned parapet.


The client brief focused heavily on the notions of comfort, practicality and respect for the building. The client, an architect-turned-talented-musician wanted the architecture to be a backdrop that would facilitate everyday living and transform depending who was there. The concept employs a collection of restrained and understated installations that uncovered, retained and celebrated the existing heritage fabric of the building.


A refined and highly-considered minimal material palette of warm grey, timber and smooth white integrated surfaces was chosen for its cost-effectiveness, but also for durability and practicality. The project is not only sustainable, it’s recycled and it’s full of charm and character. The warehouse is embraced and the conversion lets the layers of history enrich the interiors. The finished apartment is calm, livable and welcoming.

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all images © Tom Ferguson