My name is Matthew Woodward of Matthew Woodward Architecture and we are the architectural team involved in this great project, Carlotta Residence. Functional beauty is what we like to achieve in our architecture so I think this space definitely sums that up. My name is Ethan Oberman, I’m the owner.
We purchased this property when we’re living in New York, what I realised along the way is that this style of construction and the way we did the design it isn’t something that is typically seen in Sydney. Double Bay is a leafy tree-lined suburb with gorgeous parks and harbour-side beaches so it’s a very attractive place to live. I think a well-designed house means that every room is used every day. I’m Anna Trefely of Esoteriko Interior Architecture, I’m the lead designer and director and I was brought onto the project to help with interiors.
Our decision-making with all of the materials was really trying to reference some of the beauty of nature that we had through the views. It was important for the client that there was a level of truthfulness of all materials and that was really already set with the architecture. As one enters in off the street you enter in through a garden forecourt, once inside the primary focus is a folded concrete stair with steel balustrade. As you continue into the floor plate the kitchen, living and dining spaces become apparent.
Primary focus in the kitchen is a beautifully detailed brass kidney-shaped island bench designed by Esoteriko. As you move upstairs, at the western end of the floor plate there is the master bedroom suite which looks out over the valley district in the foreground and picks up the CBD skyline beyond.
Transcending down to the lower ground level of the home, inside the family room there is USM Haller shelving on one side with American black walnut wet bar on the other. Looking out over the central garden courtyard the pool becomes evident. Underneath the pool is the home office and gym. When we started the project the theme for me was this idea of industrial-chic. They wanted materials that were going to be raw, that were bold and that evoked a feeling of warmth and honesty.
We started with the concrete, our intention was softening and harmonising with those harder industrial materials. It’s very brutal the act of pouring concrete so you’re taking a lot of that brutality and the heaviness of it and you’re trying to make it feel delicate and artful. We looked at things that were inherent; timbers like walnuts, we looked at steel, brass – the beauty of these materials is they have a life of their own. It’s inherently beautiful and it’s inherently connected to that idea of the natural world. There are many playful moments throughout the home and to be honest it’s a true reflection of Ethan and Lauren’s personality.
So one of the questions I get a lot is “why did you put a skylight in the pool?” It was my sort of James Bond moment in this house! The sort of more practical answer is I wanted to get some sun, you know, into the office from the East. We unfolded this house as it was being constructed we would uncover little nooks and crannies; opportunities from the architecture that we could turn into other little spaces. I also had the wonderful privilege of working with Anna to create a lot of the pieces in the house. We made a whole host of things from side tables to dining room table to paper towel holders, it also made the house feel personal. When I visit the house I’m most proud to see a successful result of collaboration. Esoteriko did a wonderful job in softening the architecture and bringing warmth into the internal spaces. I’m very proud that we pulled it off. Amazing to sit here now and be in the house and live in the space and be very proud of of what we created.