Smart Design Studio

Located in the heart of Bondi, Pipi is a beautifully sculpted new building for Sydney’s most famous beachside suburb. Comprising 29 apartments atop ground floor retail, there is something both arresting and classical in the swooping gestures of the grand vertical bays that line Pipi. This is a building that sits comfortably at the junction of urban and beach living and behind the façade is clever planning that unlocks the potential of this site.

The arrangement of the street balconies, screens and intermediate bedrooms creates the architectural expression of the building with white terracotta battens, which are arranged vertically to form a rhythmic series of tall portal frames that enclose the balconies. Its sculpted form, with its vertical emphasis, marries with the predominant art deco style of the historic building and draws connections to the rugged coastal location. The natural terracotta provides a fine-grained scale and tactility against the off-form concrete balconies.

Clever planning has made the most of the constrained site. As a result, all apartments have great amenity including natural ventilation, ample winter sun and outdoor space for 73 per cent of the building. The materiality is appropriate to the beachfront context and is intended to reduce the on-going maintenance necessary for the duration of the building.

On the top floor, setback from the street, is a two-storey penthouse with sweeping views over Bondi Beach and the Pacific Ocean. The architecture here uses splayed concrete blades to frame views and protect glass from the hot sun. The finely detailed fenestration and super-clear glass dissolves the barrier between inside and out and is reinforced with grey travertine floors that extend to the expansive wrap-around terraces on all four sides. The material palette adopts coastal, sun-bleached tones of light-grey concrete and white terracotta and brick: durable materials that will weather beautifully in context.


Lighting: Brightgreen, Anchor Cermics. Finishes: Metz, Fethers, Bisanna, Godfrey Hirst, World Stone, Artedomus, Corian, BIC Carpets, Eveneer, Surface Gallery. Fittings & Fixtures: Astrawalker, Vola.


Photography: Romello Pereira, Prue Ruscoe