Place

Sorrento House With Fiona Lynch

Fiona Lynch’s eye for painterly color and texture is woven into the core of every project that she takes on. Over almost a decade Fiona’s office has crafted a signature style imbued with a soft minimalism that strikes a pitch perfect balance between the raw and the refined. We had the pleasure of speaking with Fiona about her beautiful ‘Sorrento House’ project, the office’s dedication to sustainability, and how design can be a conduit for collaboration.

Photography Dave Kulesza

Hi Fiona, can you start by telling us where you are at the moment and what you’ve been doing today?

Today as I write, I’m in Canberra meeting with a new client. In broader brushstrokes, I’m working on a high-profile project due to launch at the end of October and quite a few new residential and commercial projects – including Kiln, the new rooftop restaurant and bar at the Ace Hotel in Sydney which has just opened to much acclaim. Almost all of the materials we used for the design were sourced locally like beautiful Australian stone and timbers, so it was a really proud moment for us. There’s also some exciting things to announce in the near future.

You first opened your design office in 2013, can you talk a little bit about how the business and your work has evolved since then?

Since launching, we’ve built on our use of natural materials and sculptural elements, our conceptual use of materiality and harmonization of the raw and refined. The way we work has broadened and evolved in the way we like to collaborate across disciplines with contemporary artists and skilled artisans from ceramicists to sculptors and metalworkers to bring our custom designs to life. The scale and profile of projects has also grown to include projects like Kiln.

Are there any enduring design or aesthetic signatures that draw lines between projects that you work on?

An enduring, timeless aesthetic, natural materials, sculptural elements, innovative sustainable materials and inventive uses of space.

Can you tell us about your beautiful Sorrento House project?

For Sorrento House, our client’s brief was to create a secluded retreat that embodied the feel of life on the Amalfi Coast. The original 1980s home was pared back to its primary bones and the outcome is a coastal-inspired Positano palette that meets Italian Rationalism; where sharp, angular planes carved from stone are matched with the sensuality of hard and soft textural surfaces. Pale timbers, open weave linen curtains, calming pebble hues and chalky greens enhance a sense of private seclusion.

We love that you specified Armadillo as part of this project, what do you look for when selecting rugs to work back with a room?

A beautiful rug can really define a room. We are looking for quality - in elements like height of the pile, luxury, texture and a beautiful color range – all the elements that Armadillo have. We also love to work with people who have integrity – in their product and their company initiatives.

Your work is underpinned by thoughtful consideration of the lifecycle and environmental impact of your designs, can you touch on the ways Sorrento House encapsulates this dedication to sustainability?

Where possible we retained and repurposed features like the timber flooring, we used beautiful stonework that has an enduring lifespan and used custom hand-woven wicker in screening, that we designed and was crafted by a local artisan.

Finally, what are you most looking forward to for 2023?

More inspiration through design, travel, art and innovation in products and materials – particularly sustainable ones. I love to travel for inspiration and I’m hoping to get to Japan for the first time as I love the work of Tadao Ando, Yayoi Kusama and want to get to Naoshima – the ‘art island’.