Founded by Anne McCormick and Derek McDonnell, Hordern House is an internationally renowned bookshop which specialises in rare books, manuscripts and paintings. The company is based in the heart of Surry Hills, a quick five minute hop from the centre of Sydney. Occupying an entire floor of a converted warehouse, Anne and Derek have created a curated and bespoke environment for their work and incredible display of rare books, manuscripts and paintings.
While their catalogue of work is nothing short of breathtaking – an extensive stock of rare and select material specialising in voyages and travels, natural history and colour-plate material, paintings and voyage art, historical maps and manuscripts – it was their offices that really caught my eye.
The interior design of Hordern House was undertaken by Kate Nixon, director of Busatti Studio which offers a comprehensive interior design, decoration and soft furnishing service for residential and commercial projects. With a creative passion for homes and interiors, Kate Nixon is also the Interiors Editor of Australian House & Garden magazine.
The new offices for Hordern House needed to provide a home for the incredible collection of books, manuscripts and paintings but also create an inspiring and original workspace that would capture the imagination of employees and clients alike. Having previously occupied the same heritage Potts Point office for over three decades – a space renowned for its dark maze of corridors and small offices – the move was a step into the light, quite literally.
The converted warehouse in the heart of Surry Hills provides an open plan layout with the perfect balance of old and new and really embraces Hodern House’s innovative approach to the rare book market. Mixing materials and layering fabrics has all the hallmarks of Busatti Studio’s work, while letting the beautiful books, manuscripts and painting really do the talking.
Photography by Maree Homer.