The simple rehanging of the most significant Napangardi piece sparked a lightbulb moment in the redesign; a dark spine of joinery that runs along the length of the apartment. “The current placement of this piece was marginal, and its black ground made for a dramatic interface with the existing white walls,” McGregor Westlake Architects director Peter McGregor explains. “By placing the painting on a surface of similar tone, but in a rich umber, the painting could be better understood and appreciated.”
The team refers to this dark ochre joinery throughout the apartment as the ‘dark core’. From the lobby to the living room, this ‘core’ contains the kitchen fixtures, bathrooms, bar, bedroom and study. Anything outside of the ‘core’ is painted a vivid white, chosen to reflect the colour of the neighbouring Sydney Opera House and accentuate some of Dorothy Napangardi’s more vibrant pieces.