Point Piper Tranquility
Brendan Wong, of
Brendan Wong Design
Private Client —
Before we started the renovation, there had already been some work done to the common areas of the building. We entered into talks with the builder that did these works but, when we weren't able to come to agreement on the contract, we started looking for a new builder. I saw Bellevarde's website and then several people recommended them.
Brendan had worked with Bellevarde before and knew what to expect. He came and spent a day with us to extract the brief. We knew his style and liked a lot of his previous work. We asked him to design us a place that would be user-friendly but with a plush feel to it. His word for what he came up with is 'Tranquillity'. We think it suits the place perfectly.
Working with Ben Lea and Jak Gannon from Bellevarde was great. Jak was here from day one and Ben came in towards the end of the project. They made things easy because they were so on top of everything. They interfaced seamlessly with our project manager who said he always felt confident with their pricing. I get the impression that this level of trust is not necessarily the norm in the building industry. This meant I got to be involved more in the fun parts of the project.
It's an older building so there were a few issues that popped up but they were always solved quickly and at minimal extra cost by the Bellevarde team. There have been a lot of structural changes and reinforcing. A lot of new steel was brought in. With Bellevarde, things got done without any fuss. Their professionalism meant I had more time to spend with Brendan. He provided very detailed instructions to the builders which were followed perfectly, giving us a beautiful result.
It was a good thing that Bellevarde spent the time to do the reinforcing. It has left the building in a far better condition which is fortunate because it has become clear that the roof needs some work. The other residents, impressed with their interactions with Jak during our build, have agreed to give the job of fixing the roof to Bellevarde.
Jak has been so helpful. Just after we moved in, we found there was water coming through our ceiling. I called Jak who left his family Christmas party, ran over here and determined the water was coming from the apartment above. We are so impressed that we will be using Bellevarde to do all our future maintenance.
Bellevarde have definitely delivered on Brendan and our shared vision. We are delighted with the work they've done. It's beautiful. I love the main en-suite. I think it might be the best piece of real estate in Australia. The fine crafting complements the view. It's just so nice.
I would thoroughly recommend Bellevarde. It's been such a pleasant and stress-free experience. We'd build with them in Melbourne if they had an office there.
Brendan Wong, of
Brendan Wong Design —
It’s a beautiful position in a 1930s Art Deco building, but the old full-floor apartment needed some major work. The owners approached us with a brief to bring a more modern sense of space, to maximise the views and create something that could become a family heirloom to last through generations.
Far from a cosmetic refurbishment, this was a big job. We removed every internal masonry wall, propped the building and introduced all the new steel-work before we even started to create the interior and all the refinished surfaces. We wanted to put forward an intelligent interpretation of the Art Deco envelope, to be appropriate to the building, but not try and mimic or recreate the past so there is what I call a light Deco aesthetic with maritime suggestions and some gentle curves.
I had worked with Bellevarde before on a couple of major house renovations and that's why we chose them for this project. We knew Bellevarde could help us bring this vision to life, that they would take the challenge of the site and the design and deliver.
One of the first hurdles we faced was access. The building is made up of three private apartments and the common areas had very recently undergone a major refurbishment. It was important to minimise disruption to other residents and, in consultation with the Bellevarde team, we ended up creating an access point across the roof and down the side of the building. Not a single tradesperson or material went through the building. It was a clever solution.
The materials strategy was developed for longevity and elegance and we chose a palette that could give us good continuity throughout. There’s a lot of detail—customised brass and marble door architraves, which fold into floor inlays and reappear as joinery details balanced by the softer, smoky timber floors and contrasting custom two-tone marble collage floors of the bathrooms. Fortunately, the client gave us every opportunity to refine and hone those details and allow us, with every single element, to ask the question “is that the best it can be?” This kind of perfectionism is second nature to Bellevarde and it shows in the finished work.
An important part of it for me was to start to introduce some much longer vistas through the apartment. It became about connecting the east wing to the west wing and giving a much simpler sense of walking through that also improves cross ventilation and natural light. Previously, the views had been quite short. By shifting interior walls, increasing the width of the hallways, and adding new windows, you can see from the beautiful garden in the rear right through to the harbour.
To ensure that rooms weren’t encroached upon too much by services, we wanted to push the ceiling heights. Bellevarde’s thoughtful ingenuity and hard work meant we could integrate the air-conditioning, plumbing, and a significant house control system. We were then able to push the ceilings as high as they could go, which was critical to the success. A lesser builder would probably have recommended dropping the ceilings and the bulkhead, but Bellevarde always seem to find a way to make it happen.
Bellevarde’s Ben Lea and Jak Gannon made a remarkable team. Jak was there every day from opening the site until closing, six days a week for nine months. A big commitment. He gave a real strength and continuity to the whole build. Ben is very good at being able to review and assess our design, think five steps ahead, and visualise how something is actually going to be built. He anticipates any issues we may come across and workshops those valid concerns to ensure that we can turn that potential obstacle into a positive and learn from it ahead of time. This has always been my experience with Bellevarde. They are a great group of highly dedicated and professional people. I would gladly work with them again. The owners couldn’t be more pleased with the results. It’s great to see them getting so much enjoyment out of the property and continuing to discover a different perspective on the home each day.