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Peter Booth’s ware­house trans­for­ma­tion

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE - Jes­sica Howard

IT IS not much of a chal­lenge to cre­ate a res­i­den­tial mas­ter­piece with a bud­get in the mil­lions of dol­lars. The true test of an ar­chi­tect comes when they try to cre­ate some­thing from vir­tu­ally noth­ing and do so with lim­ited re­sources.

From the ru­ins of a her­itage- listed ware­house, in the cen­tre of the Ho­bart CBD, ar­chi­tect Peter Booth has cre­ated some­thing which is not only vis­ually stun­ning but highly sus­tain­able and ef­fi­cient. And he did it all with his own two hands. “Not only be­ing the owner and ar­chi­tect, I was also the builder,” he said.

“Ev­ery screw, ev­ery nail, ev­ery coat of paint is mine or my part­ners’. The new struc­ture was de­signed to ac­com­mo­date the old ma­te­ri­als so we could keep the char­ac­ter and min­imise waste. We’ve re- used as much as we pos­si­bly could from the orig­i­nal site.”

The trans­for­ma­tion from di­lap­i­dated ware­house into mod­ern in­ner- city house with ad­ja­cent stu­dio took about three years and was fin­ished in May last year.

Peter saw the prop­erty ad­ver­tised on­line and thought he had missed his chance when it sold.

Af­ter that of­fer fell through, it took him just three days to se­cure it.

“We bought it off a builder and he was us­ing it as stor­age and for park­ing cars,” Peter said.

“The back part of the build­ing had been re­moved and the roof was just hang­ing over the top be­cause they could fit more cars in that way, which is kind of crazy to think about now.”

Work­ing in re­verse, the first task was to add a new roof to dry out the build­ing af­ter years of water dam­age.

The floor­boards from the up­per storey were re­pur­posed as ex­te­rior cladding and new boards for the first floor came from the de­mo­li­tion of the Ulver­stone Scout Hall.

This level con­tains a mez­za­nine master bed­room that features the orig­i­nal garage doors as the doors to the built- in wardrobe.

The sur­pris­ingly large space also con­tains a fur­ther two bed­rooms and an op­u­lent bath­room.

Along­side the re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als are new ones that have been se­lected to con­trast the ex­ist­ing el­e­ments, cre­at­ing a clear dis­tinc­tion be­tween new and old.

This is most ev­i­dent on the lower level which houses the dou­ble height liv­ing/ din­ing area and kitchen.

Dou­ble glazed bi- fold doors open up to blur in­door and out­door liv­ing.

Sand­stone and bricks dis­cov­ered dur­ing ex­ca­va­tion were re- used in the land­scap­ing of the pri­vate court­yard.

Op­po­site the court­yard is the stu­dio which Peter and his part­ner lived in for nine months dur­ing con­struc­tion. With a small bath­room, built- in bunk beds, kitch­enette and liv­ing area, the 24m ² area is now used by the ten­ants as a work­shop area as was orig­i­nally in­tended.

The myr­tle over­lay floor came from a con­struc­tion site in the Huon Val­ley where it had been deemed waste and one of the ex­posed brick walls dates back to the mid1800s.

Her­itage Tas­ma­nia im­posed min­i­mal re­stric­tions on the con­struc­tion, Peter said.

“The coun­cil was happy that some­one was mak­ing use of the site and putting some­thing

res­i­den­tial into the city, which is a really im­por­tant as­pect of keep­ing a city alive,” he said.

“The live­li­ness of the city af­ter 5pm is really lack­ing and I think projects like this and the univer­sity ac­com­mo­da­tion planned for Melville St will really start re­gen­er­at­ing the city, much in the same way it hap­pened in Mel­bourne in the early 1990s.”

Pas­sive so­lar tech­niques such as ther­mal mass via the con­crete base, dou­ble glaz­ing and su­per in­su­la­tion have made the home so ef­fi­cient that the ten­ants used the air con­di­tioner just once dur­ing the record hot sum­mer and the heat­ing in short bursts on cooler days.

An added as­pect to the prop­erty’s sus­tain­abil­ity and ef­fi­ciency is its lo­ca­tion that al­most elim­i­nates the need for a car.

Har­ring­ton House is nom­i­nated in the Res­i­den­tial Ar­chi­tec­ture Houses Al­ter­ations and Ad­di­tions cat­e­gory of the Tas­ma­nian Ar­chi­tec­ture Awards 2013.

Vote in the Peo­ple’s Choice prize in this year’s Tas­ma­nian Ar­chi­tec­ture Awards to be in the draw to win a Zip boil, chilled and sparkling Hy­droTap unit worth $ 4345. You can vote on­line for your favourite project. Vote at www. ar­chi­tec­ture. com. au/ tas. The win­ner will be no­ti­fied by phone on Fri­day, June 14.

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