Kellett Street Boarding House

Occupying a 63 square metre corner site in Sydney’s densest suburb, Potts Point, the Kellett Street Boarding House will be a welcome addition to the regeneration of the area. With a desirable location and excellent access to services and transport, the proposed scheme will offer affordable long-term accommodation to key workers such as teachers and care-providers, as well as university students who do not rely on a car. The design activates underutilised land, replacing a triple garage currently on the site.


    Macintosh Group

  • YEAR






    Ian Armstrong
Kellett Street - Web 4b

Taking inspiration from compact Japanese house design, the scheme offers a high level of amenity within a tight footprint. In line with the objectives of ‘New Generation Boarding House’ codes, the efficient plan balances privacy with shared facilities, offering residents opportunities for both respite and connection.

A lift and central staircase function as a spine through the building, bringing natural light deep into the floorplan and connecting directly with each of the eight studios – two on each of the four floors. Ranging in size from 17-24 square metres, each studio contains a private bathroom, kitchen with table and seats, a generous wardrobe, luxury bed and lounge seating. South- or east-facing windows provide light and outlook for every room.


We were attracted to the challenge of replacing the 1940s garages with a new compact corner building. The design borrows from the Japanese tradition of small compact housing, providing much need affordable inner city accommodation and activation of the street.

Ian Armstrong , Director 258_iana-bw2-resized.jpg

The crisp and contemporary monochromatic exterior makes a modern statement in contrast to the plain façades of its neighbours, while still being respectful to the many heritage buildings within the conservation area. A bespoke handmade brick façade at ground level anchors the building to the site; the middle storeys have an off-white precast-concrete exterior; and a black-metal mansard roof caps the boarding house. Hooded window boxes project to the east and southeast, and a number of rooms have extra amenity with a small Juliet balcony to enhance the connection with the tree canopies.

The top floor contains the communal areas. An east-facing living space enjoys a vista toward the eastern suburbs and winter morning sun, and a north-facing outdoor area is a relaxed sun-filled space with a barbeque and seating.

Kellett Street Elevation 1
Kellett Street Elevation 2