About Habitusliving


Habitus is a movement for living in design. We’re an intelligent community of original thinkers in constant search of native uniqueness in our region.


From our base in Australia, we strive to capture the best edit, curating the stories behind the stories for authentic and expressive living.


Habitusliving.com explores the best residential architecture and design in Australia and Asia Pacific.


Learn more

How to modernise a Surry Hills warehouse

How to modernise a Surry Hills warehouse

The refurbishing of a rundown warehouse into a new mixed development in the heart of Surry Hills presented a range of design options. Austin is the result.

Austin saw Smart Design Studio imbuing the existing warehouse building with a new lease of life, with a reorganizing of its interior spaces into an extended ground level commercial space, two levels of high quality residential apartments, and a lower ground floor car park.

The warehouse is located in the inner-city fringe of Surry Hills and features new, thoughtfully proportioned and articulated rectangular openings. To give a sense of scale, the new hand-painted steel windows span over two levels and present as double storey windows from the interior. Though they appear bold and simple on first glance, a closer inspection reveals a window within a window; each of the small window sections has a slightly different location relative to the grid of larger windows creating a subtle artistic façade.

The apartments themselves are light filled, contemporary spaces, designed within a wedge-shaped context resulting in each apartment varying slightly to its neighbour. The all-white interiors and grey floors are accented by full-gloss rust joinery.

The basement commercial area featured split-level floor design, with an abundance of light and while originally conceived as a restaurant space, is utilised as a successful retail store.

What was originally a warehouse for a timber yard and the manufacture of lathes is now a contemporary and location specific mixed-use residential and commercial space. The building has been designed with an environmentally sustainable focus and includes spaces naturally ventilated using a light well or roof skylights; performance glass, and external roller blinds; rain water collection and reuse for toilets and watering plants; energy and water efficient fixtures and solar hot water to all the apartments; and a through maximizing the reuse of the existing building.

Smart Design Studio