PRIME position
Belle Magazine Australia|February - March 2022
Sydney architect Nick Tobias is living his best life by the beach enjoying the company of friends, daily swimming and savoring the comfort and facility of his newly redesigned house.
JUDY PASCOE

A passion for art, music and swimming are just some of the elements that thread through the life of Sydney architect Nick Tobias. The MCA Foundation chair and board member is passionate about his involvement with the contemporary art world and inspired by the musicians with whom he frequently jams, but he is equally enthusiastic about his newly renovated home in a beachside enclave that provides ready access for the “water-sports junkie”. Furnished with a judicious selection of timeless pieces that exude quality and style the home is relaxed and open, perfect for engaging with the community to which he now feels so connected.

WHAT INITIALLY APPEALED ABOUT YOUR HOME AND WHAT DID THE ALTERATIONS ENTAIL? I had recently relocated to Watsons Bay from Bondi and fell in love with the area, particularly Camp Cove – it’s literally your swimming pool. The house was a 70s build – very brown and very dark, but it was appealing as it is on a corner and only had one neighbour to the south. The rear faces south-west and a beautiful reserve with magical fig trees. The front is northwest, towards the harbour and the long side faces north-east so it gets all-day sun. The orientation is really beautiful. It also had a double garage and a driveway where you can put a few extra cars and, in an area where parking can be quite challenging, it was a pretty appealing proposition. I walked past the house every day on my way to the beach and I was always thinking about what I might do. While it is in a heritage conservation area this is one of the only houses that is not a contributory item which gave me more scope. The design process was an evolving and moving feast as it often is with architects’ own homes. I wanted to create a plan that works functionally, with various living spaces to be with family and friends. I wanted to bring in lots of natural light and ventilation which was easy to achieve because of the long, narrow shape. But the main consideration was that I was making a family home for myself and my two sons, Samson and Griffin.

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