At the summit of Bellevue Hill, Sydney a centennial Peppertree rises over the skyline; two homes lie beneath its glorious canopy. To one side of the fence, The Oculus House and to the other, Peppertree Villa, a skilfully designed late 1920s home.
One day the owners of the two homes met under this tree; they discussed botany and architecture. This was how Luigi Rosselli Architects came to be selected to respectfully revive and refresh this beautifully designed residence.
During the 1920s, after World War 1, Australia chose to find comfort in the familiarity of classic Mediterranean architecture which provided the dominant source of inspiration for homes built at ‘the top end of town’. With the Peppertree Villa, this classicism was expressed through a grand entry loggia or portico to the side of the house, and magnificent fireplaces and well-proportioned rooms to its interior.
The aim of the architects improvements was to provide better flows between the various living spaces, open the spaces up to a new garden, and add a new basement garage, an attic room and a back yard swimming pool.
A new stair was also added due to the necessity to connect the two new levels to the rest of the house, and to provide a more inviting ascension to the bedrooms on the upper floors. The resulting stair takes the form of a suspended sculptural ribbon entirely detached from the walls of the stairwell.
Mastery of architectural and interior design finishes brought the introduction of lush, tactile elements such as the stucco lucido (polished plaster), brass metalwork, solid timber panelling, resin based wall claddings and bronze finishes to the cabinets.
On the ground floor, small timber windows have been replaced by larger, finely framed steel windows that offer uncluttered openings onto a new Myles Baldwin designed garden where the Peppertree still stands, casting a soft, dappled light across the walls and grounds of this Sydney villa reborn.