1/50 Bayswater Road

Rushcutters Bay NSW 2011

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  • Studio Kate

The Interiors Edit: Hordern House


Antique books and rare artworks are beautifully displayed in this industrial inspired workspace. An empty warehouse in the heart of Surry Hills was transformed into library nirvana.





Studio Kate was commissioned to create an inspired new work space and important showcase for renowned Sydney antiquarian dealers Hordern House and their vast collection of rare books, manuscripts and paintings.

Relocating from the heritage Potts Point offices they had occupied for three decades to a vast, converted warehouse in the heart of Surry Hills was a transformative journey from a rabbit warren of corridors and closed offices towards open plan, natural light and a modern approach to their market place.

A considered floorplan was crafted to accommodate the specific business functions of private work and public display with carefully calculated custom joinery designed to stretch over 180,000 linear meters of open shelving and an additional 91,000 linear meters of closed cupboard storage.

Layout includes a specialised Rare Book Room for private viewings and intimate functions, entry reception, store area, one private financial office and three semi-partitioned management offices, a kitchen with dispatch area and breakfast bar and a shared hot desk library hub.

Integral to the design was the innovative use of aluminium mouldings and timber beading to create a cost-effective and light weight alternative to steel framed glazing throughout. Used as full and half height partition walls the framing echoes the original windows and industrial integrity of the space.

A minimalist palette of white laminate and walnut timber joinery, painted concrete floors and black and tan leather office furniture offsets architecturally inspired task and feature lighting and the client’s own collection of vibrant, antique carpets. A statement Tobu table in oiled nutwood takes pride of place in the Rare Book Room.

A precise and thoroughly modern library for one of the world’s great antiquarian collections.




Photography: Maree Homer

For information about Hordern House contact Anne McCormick or Derek McDonnell www.hordern.com