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The Lavender Bay Boatshed on Sydney Harbour

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The Lavender Bay Boatshed has been designed by Stephen Collier Architects, consisting of two three storey boatsheds that abut one another at the north-western edge of the bay in Sydney, Australia.  Built in the 19th century, they are the last remaining timber structures from the era in this part of Sydney Harbour. Painstakingly restored since 2008, they have been converted into a mix of commercial and residential units in the northern building and a three storey residential apartment in the southern building. The main 3,390 square foot (315 square meters) apartment extends from the lower ground floor (where the harbour extends into the main bedroom under a glazed floor) to a height of three storeys. It is entered mid-level on the landward side via a steep and winding path. From here the large timber lined living room (evoking memories of being a small child under an upturned boat) opens out towards the city skyline. The existing timber structure, pulled and stretched out of shape over time, has been left visible. Large skylights have been inserted in the roof that frame views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and draw in sunlight. Conceived as a series of exquisite glazed insertions in the body of the building, they open up views of the different angles and forms of the original boat shed.

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Photos: Peter Bennetts

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