Today we take you inside the home of Brian and Kay Suters, situated in the back streets of The Junction this architectural gem is a testament to Brian’s
talent and lifelong dedication to architecture in Newcastle.
Brian is the founder and namesake of Suters Architects (now dwp suters), with over 50 years at the helm he has an extensive portfolio of work both locally
and further afield. “For anyone who becomes an architect, it's about remaining committed and not losing the passion. You've got to have a passion for
architecture. It's a wonderful and rewarding profession,” Brian explains.
So why did Brian become an architect? He recounts, “I was really good at maths and I had the intention of being an engineer.” Until he met an architect
(Ray Wilson), “we hit it off straight away and he convinced me that with the skills I had I should do architecture. So really it was just that chance
meeting that took me into architecture.”
Brian and Kay’s current home in The Junction is the fifth home that they have lived in and designed. Sunnyside
was built in 1874 and was originally
a farm building for a dairy on Farquhar Street, The Junction. Since moving here in 2010 Brian has added an uncompromising modern addition at the rear
of the home which you can see glimpses of from the street, he describes it as a “Cube emerging out of a brick base”.
“Where I’ve done changes in the house I’ve painted them bright colours.” These planes of colour are evident throughout the home, much like a Mondrian painting.
The home comprises of three key zones, the original
older part of the home with Brian and Kay’s offices; the modern open plan living, kitchen and dining areas; and the upstairs master suite and retreat.
We enter this home in the original 1874 part of the building, which is the business end of the home with Brian’s office (although he is retired, kind of),
Kay’s office and sewing loft. This part of the home has had many reincarnations over its lifetime, but Brian has insisted on preserving the timeline
of these rooms – whether it be with the pine cladding from the 1980s or the 1960s spiral staircase which leads up to Kay’s sewing loft. Which would
make any sewer jealous, her loft is overflowing with patterns and fabrics that she has collected from all over the world. Kay is a retired Librarian
who became a fashion designer for several years before resuming her career as a Librarian at the University of Newcastle and a Knowledge Manager for
Deloitte in Sydney. She still makes much of her own clothing, and up here is her magical hideaway.
The Suters’ home is built around a central courtyard which offers light and a natural outlook from most rooms in the home. To the rear of the home is the
large flowing open plan lounge, kitchen and dining –this new addition typifies the Suters’ modern style with polished concrete floors, modernist furniture,
including original 1920s le Corbusier dining chairs and chaise, accompanied by artworks galore.
Brian and Kay’s use of colours and artworks throughout their home epitomises their style and personality and their love of design, architecture and art.
They have so many artworks that they have run out of space to hang them!
Moving up the recycled ironbark stairs to the retreat and master suite. This area of the home is very private, relaxed and has a beautiful outlook
amongst the tree tops. With a calming palette of creams and whites, accented by pops of colour from the Suters’ art collection, this area of the home
is well considered and acts as a calming relaxing zone.
In their ‘semi-retirement’ Brian and Kay have created a unique home that embodies their love of architecture, design and art. This home is the culmination
of a lifetime of work for Brian and Kay, it’s the perfect sanctuary for them to relax, watch their five grandchildren grow up and enjoy their daily
routine of a coffee from Talulah.