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Empire House Circa 1908

Louise Williams LAW Building Design

NSW & ACT Entries 2011


Winner of The Treated Pine Award, 2011



“Empire House” is located on The Central Coast of NSW. The project involved the refurbishment of the original heritage-listed 1908 cottage into a stylish family home. Utilising old photographs the renovations included sympathetic additions that skillfully keep the historical significance and the unique nuances of the building intact whilst accommodating modern contemporary living.

The new additions have been sited to the rear of the original waterfront reserve allowing the cottage to remain the dominant feature in an enclave that is dotted with traditionally built homes.

All joinery was hand crafted on site with surrounds to match the cedar windows. The picket fence and gable end profile was replicated having a sculptural quality made possible by the primed treated timber and the talented local trade’s people. The original Australian cedar doors were restored. The 185x18mm rusticated weatherboard cladding was selected as a close match to the original cladding profile. The timber qualities included primed finger jointed long lengths for its longevity of organic L.O.S.P treated enhancements. Prime treated timber was also used for the verandah posts and beams. The mixed forest mahogany red species of Australian hardwood was selected for its rich warm tones for the decking and the verandah lining. 140x25 merbau screen surrounds the pool providing privacy. The Lych Gate, Cabana ceiling lining and front fence panels feature v jointed L.O.S.P treated pine weatherboard paneling. Internally, 130mm wide red mahogany was chosen for the hard wood flooring with matching red gum used for the internal stairs. Light Red Meranti timber lengths were used for the architraves, skirting boards and internal doors. These pieces were hand crafted to match original joinery profiles.

The existing cottage was structurally in poor condition and was extensively termite damaged so H2 treated radiator timber framing with timber beams and lintels were selected for their longevity.

A clear articulation of old from new, The “Empire House” project is a stunning example of what can be achieved when the preservation of a historically significant cottage is expertly combined with innovative, functional and sustainable design for a modern family home.
Entered into:
  • Solid Timber Cladding, 2011
  • Residential Class 1 Best Renovation, 2011
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2011 Entries

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