Porter Apartment


The Porter apartment is an exercise that combines restraint and exuberance.

Wyldefel Gardens is a low-rise group of apartments designed in 1936 by John Brogan.

Porter Apartment 01_exterior_Stephen Varady Photo ©

With its sensible planning, good proportions, restrained ‘moderne’ style and private garden outlook this existing apartment provided a good, strong base to work with.  The brief was to improve the potential use of the open plan spaces and to renovate the bathrooms.

The owner liked the open plan, but found that it limited her use of the apartment.  The solution was to introduce a series of new sliding and pivoting screens, particularly around the dining area, creating the possibility of greater privacy when required as well as a variety of arrangements allowing the spaces to vary in size, proportion and mood depending on the required or desired function.  Designed to also carry artworks, the screens are painted the same colour as the walls, but can be repainted any time to any colour.

The new design is a complementary alteration to this stylish historic apartment.

Porter Apartment_plan1_before_Stephen Varady Image ©

Porter Apartment_plan2_after_Stephen Varady Image ©

Porter Apartment_plan 3D_closed_Stephen Varady Image ©

Porter Apartment_plan 3D_open_Stephen Varady Image ©

Porter Apartment 02_entry_Steve Back Photo ©
Porter Apartment – Entry Gallery with ‘Hibiscus’ painting by Marika Varady

Link to Marika Varady website

Porter Apartment 03_entry hall_Steve Back Photo ©

The bathrooms are sculptural studies in glass.  The owners’ bathroom is white, while the guest bathroom is vibrant and playful with coloured glass walls.

The walls and floor of the main bathroom are clad in white Colourback glass – the natural colour of the glass giving the panels a slight green tinge.  The joinery is made of translucent blue Marblo to complement the watery feel of the spa-like space.

Porter Apartment 12_bathroom_Steve Back Photo ©
Porter Apartment Main Bathroom – after
Porter Apartment 12a_bathroom_before_Stephen Varady Photo ©
Porter Apartment Main Bathroom – before

Porter Apartment_plan_bathroom 1_Stephen Varady Image ©

Porter Apartment_bathroom 1_3D01_Stephen Varady Image ©

Porter Apartment_bathroom 1_3D02_Stephen Varady Image ©

The design of the guest bathroom was inspired by the colours in the paintings of Mark Rothko, with the walls clad in an abstract composition of 29 glass panels, all back-painted with a different Dulux colour. Despite the use of so many colours, due to the size of the bathroom you never see all of them at the same time. Therefore the perception of the space shifts depending on which direction you are looking, creating a vibrant, yet surprisingly serene space.

Porter Apartment 13_guest bathroom 1_Steve Back Photo ©
Porter Apartment Guest Bathroom – after
Porter Apartment 13a_guest bathroom before_Stephen Varady Photo ©
Porter Apartment Guest Bathroom – before

Porter Apartment_plan_bathroom 2_Stephen Varady Image ©

Porter Apartment_bathroom 2_3D01_Stephen Varady Image ©


The colours for the guest bathroom were selected after studying the colour relationships in the paintings of Mark Rothko, one of the owner’s favourite painters.

Porter Apartment_colours 05_Stephen Varady Photo ©

The drawings were initially coloured in pencil, then translated to computer drawings, then 3D renders.

Colour samples were obtained from Dulux paints and tested before proceeding.

Porter Apartment 14_guest bathroom 2_Steve Back Photo ©


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