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Leichhardt House

View to Entrance from Tower Stairs View to Entrance from Tower Stairs Brett Boarman


NSW & ACT Entries 2010

The site is a former Masonic hall which was used for the former owner’s secretive gatherings, which resulted in a building of internalised volumes. The brief was to convert the building into a house, led by the client’s appreciation of the existing building and its unique history and retaining the character of the existing volumes.

The design is a play on internal-external spaces and where these intersect and overlap. The landscape is gathered up and presses into the building, while internally a series of nested spaces address issues of scale and occupation. The intervention at the ground level is a concrete tub, creating an indoor/outdoor space within the hall space, with a tower element. The movement upwards of the tower results in the gathering together of the original Tallowwood timber flooring from the hall. This timber is recycled as internal and external cladding for the tower as it grows upwards.

The strategy of retaining the existing volumes was carried over to the kitchen/living/dining area upstairs, which had to sit within the former main meeting space. Given the client’s appreciation of the elegant scale and materiality of this space and proposed furnishings of 20th century timber Danish furniture - the kitchen presented a problem in terms of compromising this with an industrial aesthetic. Rather, the kitchen needed to exist as a large piece of bespoke furniture that would not degrade the sense of a high-quality living and dining space.

Inspired by the furniture being purchased, the kitchen was designed as a substantial timber object with a fluid form. The new timber elements were selected to balanced both the new furniture and recycled timbers. Careful attention to the timber selection and detailing, provides the main bench of the kitchen with the appearance of a single timber element.
Entered into:
  • Best Use Of Recycled Timber, 2010
  • Best Use Of Wood Veneers, 2010
  • Best Use Of Timber Flooring, 2010
  • Residential Class 1, Best Renovation (Single family dwellings/townhouses), 2010
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