25 Nov 22

Kew Hillcrest – Modern luxury 130 years in the making

Kew Hillcrest - back

Woods Bagot dream team Domenic Alvaro and Tracey Wiles have combined to design the stunning new Kew Hillcrest residences at Rose Bay in Sydney’s east.

Understated simplicity is central to the design – a luxury reinvention and extension of an historic 19th century villa by the global architectural studio for developer Positive Investment Enterprise.

The outcome embraces the original architecture, framing it with two new ‘see-through’ garden pavilions and creating five oversized apartments, open to nature, surrounded by magnificent gardens and incredible views of Sydney Harbour.

“Perfectly proportioned vertical blades of stone set within a verdant landscape contrast with the historic villa and take full advantage of the most perfect views of Sydney Harbour,” said Domenic Alvaro, Global Design Leader at Woods Bagot.

“We used simplicity to accentuate the beautiful old villa. You don’t want to be fighting with it, you want the architecture to disappear in a sense and rather than being a blocker, these strong blades of stone define the new wings.”


Kew Hillcrest axo Diagram 2
Kew Hillcrest - architecture

Stone wing addition to the original Kew Hillcrest building located in Rose Bay.

Kew Hillcrest - bathroom

The wings sit either side of the original building, once part of the sprawling Tivoli Estate, developed by Morrice Black in the early 1890s as a pair of grand attached three-story villas in the Victorian Italianate and Federation Queen Anne style.

Marketing at the time described each home – called Dalkey and Bianopa – as displaying “special merit in design and comfort, highly finished throughout with no expense spared to render them worthy of the select district”.

Fast-forward to 2022, update the words, and the sentiment still applies.

The area is highly sought after and features a disproportionate number of Australia’s most desirable (and expensive) homes due to the quality of lifestyle, numerous estates, access to the Harbour and the eastern beaches of Bondi, Tamarama and Bronte.

Kew Hillcrest is close to top of the Rose Bay hill, on the edge of Vaucluse, the north-facing site featuring sunset views over Sydney Harbour Bridge while capturing cooling north-east summer breezes.

Each residence features 3-4 luxurious bedrooms, 2-3 bathrooms, and multiple indoor-outdoor living areas for generous formal and informal entertaining.

Kew Hillcrest - living

Tracey Wiles, Regional Interior Design Leader at Woods Bagot, said the cultured and refined interiors evoke warmth and beauty, drawing long water and garden vistas into every room.

“We aspire to create some of the most beautiful residences in Australia – the elegance, drama and grandeur of the spaces is magnificent,” said Wiles.

“The connection to the water, the light, the garden landscapes, and the conversation between old and new provided so many opportunities to curate layered special moments.”

Wiles has used authentic materials, Victorian panelling and bespoke marble joinery pieces to link one period to the next across each of the residences, which range in size from 267 square metres to 400 square metres.

A seamless flow between the interiors and exteriors is key to the design with lush green landscapes by Dangar Barin Smith set to create a beautiful counterpoint to the blues of Sydney Harbour.

Work on the development is expected to start in early next year and complete in 2025.

Understated simplicity is central to the design – a luxury reinvention and extension of an historic 19th century villa by the global architectural studio for developer Positive Investment Enterprise.

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