In this century, more than any preceding it, we must recognise the potential of the resources already expended in our built environment. This project - a fit-out to a Victorian era terrace house - is part retread, part replacement. Functional parts are reworked, other parts replaced. The whole is retained, enhanced and given another life.
Detailing and material expression is direct, new and old clear. Aside from the front portion of the lower ground floor, which is hollowed out for the kitchen, the walls of all pre-existing rooms are left intact. The 19th century building and later useful interventions remain. A single glass sheet replaces the original tiled front porch, shedding light into the new kitchen; otherwise the building skin and its relationship to the street and rear lane, remain. Raw concrete/ recycled timber/ raw steel and glass provide a distinct feel to each level. A sculptural staircase weaves together the three levels, from a heavy concrete base, via recycled timber treads, to a luminous platform of steel and glass.
Our clients asked for functionality, light and an honest expression of materials. Timber, in many guises, is used to achieve this. It is evident throughout the house - from the multiple timber species (Baltic Pine/ Cypress/ Sydney Bluegum) of the existing floors (stained a revealing yet unifying translucent black) to the recycled Spotted Gum floor joists reused in the joinery, and recycled Ironbark bridge timbers used in the stair, to the Spotted Gum and Rock Maple veneers used in the kitchen and bedrooms, and recycled hardwood formply used in the cellar and music room joinery. Set against the cool interior finishes of glass, steel and concrete, the timber brings a warmth and tactility to each space.