Ian Moore Architects

Strelein Warehouse

  • http://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Modern-House_Strelein-Warehouse_Int-study_01.jpg
  • http://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Modern-House_Strelein-Warehouse_Int-street-facade-car-in-garage.jpg
  • http://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Modern-House_Strelein-Warehouse_Int-facade-detail.jpg
  • http://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Modern-House_Strelein-Warehouse_Int-front-door.jpg
  • http://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Modern-House_Strelein-Warehouse_Int-living-area.jpg
  • http://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Modern-House_Strelein-Warehouse_Int-kitchen.jpg
  • http://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Modern-House_Strelein-Warehouse_Int-dining-area.jpg
  • http://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Modern-House_Strelein-Warehouse_Int-stair.jpg
  • http://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Modern-House_Strelein-Warehouse_Int-stair-handrail.jpg
  • http://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Modern-House_Strelein-Warehouse_Int-studygallery.jpg
  • http://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Modern-House_Strelein-Warehouse_Int-study-2.jpg
  • http://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Modern-House_Strelein-Warehouse_Int-studygallery_01.jpg
  • http://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Modern-House_Strelein-Warehouse_Int-bedroom_01.jpg
  • http://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Modern-House_Strelein-Warehouse_Int-bedroom.jpg
  • http://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Modern-House_Strelein-Warehouse_Int-door-detail.jpg
  • http://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Modern-House_Strelein-Warehouse_Int-bathroom.jpg
  • http://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Modern-House_Strelein-Warehouse_Int-bath.jpg

Strelein Warehouse


Ian Moore Architects

Designed and Built

2008 - 10

Design Architect

Ian Moore

Structural Engineer

Benvenuti SC

Steel Fabricator

Salken Engineering


41 Prospect Street, Surry Hills


Warehouse, 1.5 Bathrooms, 1 Car (Garage)

Interior Design

Ian Moore

Building Certifier

Paul Rolfe Consulting

Heritage Consultant



© Iain D. MacKenzie



Since its rebirth in 2010, Strelein Warehouse in inner city Sydney has attracted a level of renown more commonly reserved for larger buildings, or those of a higher visibility, a public nature.

Located at the end of a quiet Surry Hills cul-de-sac, this 134 square metre private residence boasts multiple national and international awards for architecture, interior design and design excellence. Designed as the architect’s own home, it has been published the world over.

Applauded most often is Moore’s striking two-toned transformation of the most utilitarian of buildings – a simple late 19th century brick grocery warehouse – into the ultimate sophisticated city retreat, achieved without compromise to the original building envelope and fabric.

This generously proportioned warehouse straddles two street frontages, the ‘grander’ main pedestrian entrance being off Chapman Street, and a rear vehicle entry off Prospect Street. Both facades of exposed brick, black steel and milk glass hint at change within – of the fine balance of old and new.

Internally, colour is used to dramatically differentiate existing from new; white defining all retained elements and structure; black all new elements, including furniture.

Spaces are stepped simply and cleverly over three levels. Public living and dining on the lower level, overlooked by a mezzanine kitchen and private spaces above. The result is a soothingly calm oasis. A connected yet contained cocoon in a noisy, highly coloured urban world.

All existing structure has been retained, lined and painted white, while all new elements are painted black.”

Ian Moore

The Design

Strelein Warehouse reads as a masterful piece of architecture, an inner-city oasis of balletically manipulated contrasting or opposing forces, and fine balances. A highly resolved private home deftly harmonising drama with restraint, light with dark, industrial with domestic, heritage with contemporary, urbanity and rusticity.

Designed by architect Ian Moore in 2008 and completed in 2010, this highly sophisticated reinvention of an old 1895 grocery warehouse cum engineering workshop cum artist’s studio into a private residence began with the simplest of briefs.

Moore was asked by his wife to create “a black and white house” in which to most effectively display an acquired collection of black and white portrait photography, also requested was a large, well-lit bathroom featuring great natural light and a large bath in which to soak. These needs aside, he was given creative licence to design the most unique of city residences. To maintain the simplicity, integrity and spatial qualities of the original generously proportioned brick and timber two-level building, Moore adopted a deceptively simple design approach.

Every existing and retained element, albeit lined or repainted, would be white in colour, and everything newly introduced, would be black. This included both freestanding and built-in furniture, from a striking built-in black banquette in the living area, to the largest new element – an anodised aluminium bathroom box on the upper level. This extraordinary rationalisation of colour acts to enhance the emotional, physical and intellectual legibility of spaces throughout, and affords a pervasive sense of order, calmness and tranquillity. In many ways, it is the building’s hallmark and defining feature.

Moore’s next move was to rationalise spaces, working intuitively with a 1.7 metre fall across the site from Prospect to Chapman Streets. Pedestrian entry is from the south, allowing arrival to occur from the grander tree-lined Chapman Street cul-de-sac, and vehicular entry from the north. Both facades offer a sense of drama and first glimpses of the play of contrasts that lies within: milk glass pivot or roller doors, set within black steel plate portal frames, in textural walls of original exposed brickwork.


A toweringly vertical front pivot door offers access into the first of three fluid platforms, or stages, connected visually and physically by a ribboning staircase along the western elevation, creating a sense of fluidity, volume, lightness and drama.

Living/dining and kitchen spaces are split over two platforms. The first, elevated four steps from the entry, is the living and dining stage, featuring two strikingly unique features – a soaring floor-to-ceiling, one-and-a-half height, steel plate-framed bookcase, and exaggeratedly vertical and elongated banquette.

The second stage is a wonderfully commanding, mezzanine galley-style kitchen, sitting a half level higher and visually overlooking the living/dining space, featuring a seamless stainless steel benchtop, of a width and length more commonly seen in commercial kitchens. Behind this lie the laundry, storage, guest toilet and garage, with this area level with and opening directly to Prospect Street.

The upper level is reserved for private spaces. A second north-facing living area is separated from the south-facing bedroom by a black anodised aluminium bathroom box, topped with clerestory windows. Bookending the level are banks of milk glass panelled louvred windows, drawing soft diffused light and air from both north and south, affording occupants the opportunity to be completely cocooned away from the world as needed, or to invite it in as desired.

Subconsciously inspired by the iconic Maison de Verre in Paris, completed in 1932 by Pierre Chareau and Bernard Bijvoet, Moore opted for a streamlined choice of industrial and unexpected materials. Ten millimetre steel plate (coated with matte-black epoxy paint, rubbed with vinegar and then softened with baby oil) features throughout, having been determined initially as the only material feasible for a new structural wall required. Its use ranges from a dramatically vertical steel portal framing the front door, to a unique floor-to-ceiling, one-and-a-half height living room bookcase.


White or black rubber covers all floors, with white Corian used for bathrooms, steel plate or black anodised aluminium for all joinery, doors and the bathroom box, and milk glass for windows. The finest quality appliances and fittings – including VOLA stainless steel tapware, Miele appliances, Flaminia bathware, Kreon and Serge Mouille light fittings – are used throughout.

Strelein Warehouse presents as a highly resolved, simple, uncluttered piece of living art, a rare finely balanced and stripped back home speaking of the arts, theatre, drama, and architecture of great restraint.



41 Prospect Street, Surry Hills


Warehouse, 1.5 Bathrooms, 1 Car (Garage)

Internal Living area (approx.)

116.5 sq m (1,254 sq ft) - Garage not inc.

Garage / Utility area (approx.)

17.25 sq m (186 sq ft)

Land area (approx.)

84.2 sq m (906 sq ft)

Floor Plan


PDF floorplan →

Viewings by appointment

Modern House Estate Agents
Telephone toll-free: 1300 814 768
Email: viewings@modernhouse.co


Surry Hills is an inner-city suburb, located south-east of the Sydney CBD. This highly sought after suburb is a hotspot for fashion, theatre, art, food and drink.

A short walk from Central Station will reveal a myriad of small bars, restaurants, galleries, design stores and fashion boutiques. Take a detour down the beautiful side streets to find some hidden gems, including one of Australia’s most respected theatres, Belvoir Street Theatre, the iconic Bourke Street Bakery and the Brett Whitely Studio.

Along with being a style and culture hub, Surry Hills exudes a strong sense of community with events such as the Surry Hills Festival, the Surry Hills Markets and the annual Mardi Gras Parade bringing families, neighbours and visitors together.

The Surry Hills Library and Community Centre, located on Crown Street, is the recipient of several sustainability and architectural awards. Surrounded by parks and cafes, the building marks the centre of Surry Hills and attracts locals and visitors 7 days a week.

Public transport options are simple with an easy stroll to Central Station and several buses traveling along Crown Street, Cleveland Street and Oxford Street.

With its balanced mixture of residential, commercial and light industrial areas, Surry Hills is the quintessential inner city suburb, offering everything one could need within walking distance and a strong sense of community.



Sydney-based architect Ian Moore is known internationally for his award-winning buildings, being described variously as a master of rationalist, minimalist and/or modernist architecture. Most recognised works include Strelein Warehouse, Price O’Reilly House in Redfern, the multi-residential Altair apartments in Kings Cross, 138 Barcom Avenue Apartments in Darlinghurst, 2 Kings Lane Apartments in Darlinghurst, Air Apartments at Broadbeach, the McLeod House at Castle Cove, Rose House on Saddleback Mountain, and 387 Tamaki Drive in Auckland.

He holds qualifications in civil and structural engineering from the Auckland Technical Institute, a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Technology Sydney, graduating with honours, and a Master of Architecture from RMIT University, Melbourne.

Moore’s passion for the built form began at an early age. Born and raised in New Zealand, he spent school holidays working with his builder-father, while his mother designed the interiors of all of the family homes. Heading to London almost immediately after graduating, Moore worked for four years with leading global engineering firm Ove Arup and Partners on one of the world’s best-known buildings – Norman Foster’s Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank in Hong Kong.

This project was to redirect Moore away from engineering and back to his first-held, lifelong passion – architecture. Within two years of completing an architecture degree in 1988, he had opened Ian Moore Architects in Sydney. He regularly lectures and has taught at UTS, Sydney University, UNSW and Sydney Institute of Technology.

Moore’s finely crafted work has received multiple awards over the past 27 years, with the Strelein Warehouse alone winning 16 national and international honours. These include the 2011 Interior Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) top accolade, and the 2011 INSIDE World Festival of Interiors major residential award.

Elsewhere, Altair was named as ‘Best Housing Scheme in the World’ and ‘Best Building in the Australasia/Oceania region’ at the World Architecture Awards in 2002 in Berlin.

Not surprisingly, many of the practice’s works have been widely published, with the Strelein Warehouse featured in a number of major design, interior and architecture books and publications. These include Architectural Record (USA), Biennale Architecttura (Italy), Casa International (China), Dwell Asia (Singapore), Azure (Canada), and Australian publications such as HOUSES magazine, Artichoke, Vogue Living and Habitus.

Architect's Drawings

Key Publications

100 Contemporary Brick Buildings – Philip Jodidio, Taschen, 2017

Architect's Houses: Twenty Australian Homes – Stephen Crafti, 2015

Architectural Record: Record Interiors, 2011 October 2011 (USA)

Architecture Bulletin, January / February 2012

Steel Profile 109, August 2011

Habitus – issue 11, 2011

Dwell Asia, November / December 2011 (Singapore)

Casa International – issue 100, 2011 / 2012 (China)

AR Architectural Review Australia 123, Summer 2011/2012

Architectural Digest (AD) – No.12, April 2012 (China)

Traces of Centuries & Future Steps - Palazzo Bembo, Biennale Architettura, 2012 (Italy)

Haus & Auto Internationale Projekte Andreas K. Vetter – Callwey, 2013 (Germany)

Habitus – issue 11, 2011

Key Awards

Australian Institute of Architects (NSW) Architecture Awards: Architecture Award (Interior Architecture), 2011

Australian Institute of Architects National Architecture Awards: Short-listed-Interior Architecture category, 2011

Australian Interior Design Awards: Award for Best of State, Residential Design, New South Wales, 2011

The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture + Design: International Architecture Award, 2011

INSIDE: World Festival of Interiors Barcelona: Category Winner-Residential, 2011

Architectural Record: Record Interiors: Winner, 2011

Interior Design Excellence Awards (IDEA): Winner-Single Residential Category, 2011

Interior Design Excellence Awards (IDEA): Overall winner, 2011




Viewings by appointment

Modern House Estate Agents
Telephone toll-free: 1300 814 768
Email: viewings@modernhouse.co