a piece of sculpture to be lived in, smart design studio’s ‘indigo slam’ introduces an expressive residence for an art collector in sydney’s chippendale neighborhood. the dwelling is housed behind a façade of sculpted concrete, and is realized as a collection of serene living spaces and monumental halls. with a dynamic spatial interplay of minimal interiors, the main decorative element is light. the concrete façade of indigo slam, with its spatial composition of geometries, is subject to constant changes with the shifting light, shade, sun and cloud, introducing a lively backdrop to the adjacent urban park. the building’s interiors are large but not ostentatious, while minimalist finishes are highlighted with ambient light and brick paved flooring.

indigo slam smart
all images courtesy of smart design studio | @smart.design.studio



approaching smart design studio’s monumental ‘indigo slam’, a patterned steel screen opens to lead the occupant into a lofty covered vestibule. from here, the space compresses into a low and narrow corridor before suddenly opening to a cavernous stair hall lit from concealed roof lights overhead. this hall offers an atmosphere which is unusual in australian residential architecture — both grand and austere with its size and minimal ornament, but inviting and exciting as it leads the occupant upward through the building. in contrast to this dramatic spatial sequence, the adjacent living areas are informal and intimate. bedroom suites occupy the first floor, overlooking the public park to the north. the geometries and sweeping curves of the façade here act as screens which provide privacy and shade for the occupants. 

indigo slam smart



led by william smart, australian practice smart design studio designed the project to last one hundred years. the team makes use of durable materials and fittings, with operable elements run mechanically rather than digitally. these elements include oversized vertical timber blinds which turn and retract by means of hanging chains and awning windows operated by geared winders. the residence represents a rare chance to introduce a large house of merit and quality to chippendale, helping to revitalize this diverse area as a place of architectural and cultural interest.


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project info:


project title: indigo slam

architecture: smart design studio

location: chippendale, sydney, australia

program: residential

project team: william smart, nicole leuning, luke moloney, james ho, joey cheng

structural engineer: brian wood, northrop

furniture design: khai liew

landscape architect: christopher owen

lighting design: emrah baki-ulas, steensen varming

facade engineer: michael whytlaw, advance design innovations

facade engineer: peter romeos, ARUP