Heritage research revealed that the building may have been the earliest stone structure of the areas early farming district, presumed to predate the 1840’s. Thus, from the outset it was highly desirable to maintain the integrity of the structure and utilise or reuse as many original timber and stone elements as possible. Given the dilapidated nature of the entire structure this was an enormous challenge.
Rather than attempting to ‘fix’ the buildings’ ‘inherent’ quirks, the decision was made to work with them, avoiding removal of the roof frame, straightening walls and leaving holes as they were unless they were not vermin proof! The rising damp was treated internally where it would be concealed behind joinery. The new roof and floor structure and the joinery were designed as installation pieces built inside the barns’ existing walls, avoiding any load onto the building.
The original mezzanine flooring, access ladder and timber joists, thought to be solid eucalyptus, were removed as they were determined to be structurally unsound. The penetrations into the original structure were left visible. The flooring was inverted and reused as the ceiling for the living area. The timber was only cleaned and oiled to maintain its visual integrity. The original timber mezzanine ladder now lives in the barn as a towel rail. The original floor joists were made into a table for the dining area.
The original vertical board wall was removed and replaced with a new wall 1.2 metres clear of the original structure, clad on all visible surfaces with vertical boards. The cladding was milled to create a ship-lap joint profile similar to the original cladding. The new entry door was treated in a similar manner.
Existing openings through the stone walls were infilled with glazing framed with recycled floor joists. New windows were fabricated from Tas Oak to match. The new glass roof was also framed and supported by Tas Oak.
The new stair is a simple series of floating solid oak treads, the first of which is a full platform of T&G oak which forms the entire living room floor, and the last of which forms the bedroom floor.
The joinery which forms the only internal divisions is a combination of FSC certified timber veneer and solid oak all finished in a similar manner.
All new timber elements were carefully selected and finished to respect the aesthetic of the retained timber elements.