INDIGO SLAM – A SCULPTURE FOR LIVING IN
In his 1927 manifesto, architect le Corbusier famously said, ‘A house is a machine for living in.’ When Judith Neilson commissioned William Smart and Smart Design Studio to design her new Chippendale home she wanted a house that was, instead, a ‘sculpture to be lived in’. The house, completed in 2016 and named Indigo Slam, is sculptural both inside and out – the perfect abode for an art collector.
In the words of Smart Design Studio:
Behind a façade of sculpted concrete, serene living spaces and monumental halls create a dynamic spatial interplay of spare interiors in which the main decorative element is light. The concrete façade of Indigo Slam is alive to the changes wrought by light, shade, sun and cloud, providing the new urban park across the road with a lively backdrop to public life. Approaching from O’Connor Street, a patterned steel screen opens to lead the visitor into a generous coved vestibule. From here, the space compresses to a low and narrow corridor before suddenly opening to a cavernous stair hall lit from concealed roof lights overhead. This room is a space unique in Australian residential architecture – grand and austere in its size and sparseness, but inviting and exciting as it leads one upwards through the building.
As a counterpoint to this dramatic spatial sequence, the living areas leading off it are informal and intimate. Bedroom suites occupy the first floor, overlooking the public park to the north. The curves and planes of the façade here act as screens to provide privacy and shade for the occupants. On the second floor, sitting and dining rooms overlook the park. A sky-lit kitchen and study look back into the building, creating views across the stair hall.
The brief was for Indigo Slam to last 100 years. Materials are selected to wear and endure and fittings to last, with operable elements mechanically rather than digitally operated. These include oversized vertical timber blinds that turn and retract by means of hanging chains and awning windows operated by geared winders. The brass armatures for these moving parts lend a finely grained detail to the interior and to the steel, glass and concrete of the building façade. The project aspires to an exemplary level of environmentally sustainable design with natural lighting, cross-ventilation, rainwater harvesting and adherence to passive solar design principles reducing the energy and water load of the building. Geothermal heating and cooling have also been incorporated into the design and solar hot water and photovoltaic cells populate the roof.
The list of awards won by Indigo Slam testifies to its extraordinary presence in the re-energised Sydney cultural precinct of Chippendale and to the outstanding quality of its design and construction.
- 2017 AIA Emil Sodersten Award for Interior Architecture (National)
- 2017 AIA NSW Architecture Award for Interior Architecture (NSW)
- 2017 Sydney Design Awards Gold for Architecture Residential Constructed
- 2017 Sydney Design Awards Silver for Interior Design Residential
- 2017 Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) Award of Excellence (NSW)
- 2017 INDE Award for The Building (Asia Pacific)
- 2017 INDE Award for The Best of the Best (Asia Pacific)
- 2017 Australian Interior Design Awards – Premier Award for Int. Design (National)
- 2017 Australian Interior Design Awards – Residential Best of State (NSW)
- 2017 Australian Interior Design Awards – Residential Design (National)
- 2017 Belle Coco Republic Interior Design Awards – Best Residential (National)
- 2017 Belle Coco Republic Interior Design Awards – Best Kitchen (National)
- 2017 Belle Coco Republic Interior Design Awards – Best Bathroom (National)
- 2016 AIA Robin Boyd Award for Residential Architecture (National)
- 2016 AIA Wilkinson Award for Residential Architecture (NSW)
- 2016 World Architecture Festival (INSIDE) Awards – Residential (International)
- 2016 Interior Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) – Residential (National)
- 2016 Interior Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) – Overall Winner (National)