John and Kate’s feel­good story

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - HOME - Any­one in­ter­ested in putting their own amaz­ing home up for con­sid­er­a­tion for house of the week can email jessica. howard@ news. com. au

CYGNET seems to have some sort of in­vis­i­ble force which at­tracts a highly di­verse range of tal­ented and eclec­tic peo­ple, many of whom come from in­ter­state seek­ing the ul­ti­mate sea-change ex­pe­ri­ence.

One such cou­ple, Kate and John Reed, for­merly of Syd­ney, have trans­formed one of the town’s tired, old build­ings into a mod­ern, wel­com­ing space for both their pa­trons and fam­ily.

Pre­vi­ously, the build­ing had been a ster­ile space on its last legs and had op­er­ated as a take- away fish ’n’ chips shop.

Orig­i­nally the Reeds had bought a block of land at Wat­tle Grove as an in­her­i­tance for their 10- year- old son Thomas, but in­stead de­cided to make the move south in 2011, bring­ing with them their home­o­pathic dis­pen­sary busi­ness.

“Cygnet just stood out as a won­der­ful place,” John said.

“We spent 20 years in Pen­nant Hills and af­ter a year we had more of a sense of com­mu­nity here than we ever did in Syd­ney.”

Ryan Strat­ing, of Wood­bridge- based ar­chi­tec­tural prac­tice Core Col­lec­tive, de­signed the new shop front and liv­ing space at the rear of what was known for many years as The Green Inn.

The early 20th- cen­tury build­ing has had many uses over the years and the cou­ple en­cour­age peo­ple to come for­ward with any his­tory or sto­ries they have about the inn.

“We an­guished in Syd­ney about how the town would ac­cept us be­cause we’d taken away some­thing we thought they val­ued highly and we’ve had so many peo­ple say it’s a great space and thanked us for build­ing it,” Kate said.

“There are a lot of peo­ple in town who have strong as­so­ci­a­tions with The Green Inn, es­pe­cially from its hey­day. Peo­ple come in and say their par­ents courted here when they’d go to the movies next door then come here af­ter­wards for some­thing to eat.”

Com­pleted by builder David Daven­port, of Par­a­digm Con­struc­tion, the ren­o­va­tion took less than a year and was fi nished in Novem­ber 2011.

Pass­ing through dou­ble- glass doors, ev­ery wall in the front of the shop is lined with John’s books.

Glass bot­tles and mea­sur­ing in­stru­ments col­lected by John in his trav­els are dis­played with pride in glass cab­i­nets around the room.

The wooden- framed win­dows and pressed- tin ceil­ing have been added to cre­ate a con­nec­tion with the his­toric streetscape.

A cosy wood heater in the cen­tre of the room in­vites peo­ple to set­tle in for a good read.

“We wanted it to be an invit­ing space; al­most like a lounge room where peo­ple can come and sit,” John said.

“Be­cause the books are an add- on

to the home­o­pathic busi­ness, we’re quite happy for peo­ple to come and read and then go again. The books aren’t a money- mak­ing en­ter­prise; they’re a pas­sion.”

But the books don’t end in the front room; many more shelves line the stor­age space along­side hun­dreds of bot­tles of medicine and piles are lit­tered through­out the liv­ing area at the back.

North- fac­ing, dou­ble- glazed win­dows al­low light to stream into this pas­sive so­lar space, which com­prises two bed­rooms, one bath­room and a large liv­ing area over­look­ing the ver­dant pas­ture be­yond.

The pro­ject has been nom­i­nated in the com­mer­cial ar­chi­tec­ture cat­e­gory of the 2013 Tas­ma­nian Ar­chi­tec­ture Awards.

“It’s an ex­tra­or­di­nary space and it’s nice it’s get­ting that ex­po­sure, par­tic­u­larly the shop be­cause as soon as peo­ple walk through those dou­ble doors they go ‘ wow’,” Kate said. “It feels so dif­fer­ent and un­usual and its re­ally nice to think that that has been recog­nised.”

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 at www. ar­chi­tec­ture. com. au/ tas.

The win­ner will be no­tifi ed by phone on June 14.

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