It’s a rainy day when we visit Cross Street; a thin road overlooking the wild Bronte coastline. Walking down the drive of number 13 and through the front door of Christopher Glanville and Megan Burns’ ambitious new design project, there isn’t a hint of the gloom outside. The long, white-walled hallway and chalky timber floorboards guide us into the sun-filled living space. The crisp, serene interior transports us straight to a breezy summer morning.
“There are all these stunning residences that are built – but no one actually gets to experience them except the client,” says Glanville. This is the central idea behind The Cross Street Project’s unique fusion of property development and design. The meticulously redesigned apartment has been fitted-out with premium, locally made furniture and art. After it’s used for a series of events, it will be placed on the market with all items inside it available for individual purchase or as part of the home.
Glanville and Burns met while studying architecture at university and set up their multidisciplinary design studio, C+M, in 2012. Their first foray into property development and resale was a property on Beach Road, Bondi. “We realised people want to buy into the idea and the feel of a space,” says Glanville.
For the Cross Street Project, the concept of selling a lifestyle was something the pair was keen to take beyond a real-estate venture. This process started with imagining the person most likely to live in the space. “We are creating a home for the people that live here, who are young, and maybe have a kid, so even though it’s still an apartment it’s quite homey,” explains Glanville. In order to achieve this the pair sought to merge Danish design with a Sydney beach aesthetic. This is executed with rigorous attention to detail: the doors that are hidden along the v-joint panelled hallway, the marble-floored bathroom’s matte subway tiles and sleek black tap fixtures and the soft, lived-in styling of each bedroom.
A hexagonal marble platter sits atop the circular oak table in the living room beside a deep, timber-framed mirror. Sheepskin rugs and moody seascapes are also carefully positioned around the space. These are by the designers, stores and artists that Granville and Bruns have collaborated closely with over the course of the project. “There’s a focus on Sydney-based people that we know are doing unique things,” says Burns. Sydney ceramicist Milly Dent, who draws inspiration from coastal tides, Mr and Mrs White, which hand makes timber furniture in the Northern Beaches and photographer Bartolomeo Celestino who can be found, camera in hand, at Bronte beach most days, are just a few of the individuals involved. Other items have been hand-picked from the collections of The Design Hunter, Project 82 and Catapult Design.
The home will play host to private dinners run by Brendan Cato of The Farmed Table, a workshop on growing apartment gardens by Indira Naidoo and talks about sustainability and property development by Avis Mulhall and Glanville and Burns.
The Cross Street Project’s events and artist collaborations look outward to help ground this potential home in its beachside setting. As Burns says, “It’s all about the interests of the people in this area rather than being super design focused.”
The Cross Street Project will be open to the public on weekends, from 25 October - 9 November.
The apartment will be opened up for inspection at additional times by Christopher and Megan's real estate agent. To find out more get in touch with Kiel Glass at LJ Hooker Bondi Beach.
The Cross Street Project
Unit 1, 13 Cross Street, Bronte
Sat 9:30am-midday, 1:30pm-5:30pm