William Lane Warehouse

The conversion of a inner city warehouse into a private residence for a young couple in Sydney. A pitched roof added to the original warehouse in the 1980’s is removed and replaced with a double height volume that forms the new living spaces for the residence. A lift core is placed in the entrance courtyard and stepped to accommodate service areas on the levels above.

WL Combined Axo

8 Layout

The facades of the new elements are clad in black metal to contrast with the original brickwork of the warehouse and to create a distinct mute volume that mediates between the low rise buildings of Woolloomooloo and the 12 storey commercial buildings to the south of the William Lane. New windows on the northern facade are consolidated into one large opening with broad fixed louvres providing solar protection and privacy between the residence and the neighbouring houses.

The program of the house is distributed over 5 levels with the garage, art storage and a private gallery on the ground level, a guest suite on level 1, the master suite on level 2, the living and dining areas on level 3 and an outdoor entertaining area on the roof terrace. A four storey library conceals a private study, a small courtyard and utility room.

The new and existing structures are supported and braced by a four storey steel tower that is inserted into a new void at the eastern end of the building. Steel stairs and bridges sit within the bracing structure and provide circulation between the various levels and spaces. The rails of typical art storage racks are rotated vertically to allow the art stored on the ground floor to be slid between each level transforming the bracing structure into a theatrical fly tower that offers ever changing backdrops to the program of the residence.

WL without walls 1

WL without walls combined


Builder: GNC Quality

Structural Engineer: SDA Structures

Photography: Peter Bennetts