Belle, Feb/March 2018
Q&A with Belle Magazine
FORMER GLORY INC. resurrects historically and architecturally significant buildings. Managing director Dean Bialek worked with SJB's Jonathan Richards and Ciolino Constructions to join two period apartments to form his own family penthouse. See @formergloryinc.
What was the brief?
A Latin-inspired rejuvenation of the original art deco features with bold, geometric ceramics, warm timbers, raw brass detailing and custom terrazzo. References included the American Trade Hotel in Panama City; Hotel Parco dei Principi by Gio Ponti in Sorrento and Hôtel Saint-Marc in Paris by Dimore Studio.
How did you come to live in this apartment?
My partner Celina had owned and lived sporadically in the top floor, front unit since 2003. A year after we got together in 2014, and with a baby on the way, I purchased the back apartment with plans to amalgamate the two into a three-bedroom penthouse for the family.
How did you maximise the sense of space?
The main idea was to open up the front unit to the Bondi Beach views to become one open-plan living space, and use the back unit for private spaces, including bedrooms and bathrooms.
What were the challenges of the space and how did you resolve them?
Finding the simplest, cleanest way to join the two units by creating a connecting corridor, leaving the final product feeling like it had always existed as a single, seamless penthouse.
How would you describe the completed interior?
Light and layered, leafy and luxurious. An elegant meshing of our favourite Latin Art Deco and mid-20th Century influences, with a focus on the tiles, fans and foliage associated with the Amalfi coast, Miami and Havana.
What are some of your favourite design elements?
The arched, chunky, green terrazzo shower hob in the powder room; ; the curved grey and white terrazzo countertop and shelves either side of our Lacanche cooker; the Gio Ponti ‘Verde’ backgammon tiles arranged in ‘Ziggy Stardust’ format on the master ensuite floor; and the kids bath in green, Moroccan handmade tiles.
How do you use the space?
Lots of cooking, eating, listening to music and entertaining in the front; well-earned rest and relaxation in the back. And lots of time on the balcony admiring the Bondi sunsets!