Another level: Apartment design at its finest.
Turning a house into apartments is not an easy project but with the right approach and high standards, an award-winning solution is possible. A team of renovation specialists shows how it is done
Luxurious sophistication and an outstanding eye for detail are the hallmarks of this year’s HIA Awards Apartment of the Year.
The brief was no simple request; Blythe & Watchorn Builders had to transform a grand 1903 Sandy Bay home into two top-end apartments.
Managing director Rob Watchorn described the 12-month project as complicated and challenging but ultimately highly rewarding.
Rob said one of his client’s desires was to create a home with a free-flowing living space and separate rooms suitable for the change of seasons, capturing the warmth and light at different times of the day and year.
“Security was a priority, with the owners spending a lot of time interstate and overseas,” he said. “And maximising the river views was also important.”
Rob said the major challenges of the project included the fire separation of the upper and lower levels, working around the existing staircase and lift, and access for structural steel and building materials to the rear of the block. “It was a mammoth project,” he said. “We needed to match all of the existing cornices, which were custom made interstate; the external mouldings were too.
“All of the skirtings, architraves and timber mouldings were custom made to match the profiles of the existing home, which is a necessity for this sort of work. It has to be perfectly executed.”
The home also features bespoke stained glass, shower grates and joinery, Miglas windows, French oak parquetry floors and Calcutta marble features.
The apartment’s study loft includes a rooftop deck added to the design during construction.
Internal windows in an ensuite and the second bedroom give these inner rooms a view of the river.
Energy efficiency is achieved with the inclusion of bulk insulation, double glazing and window shutters, while the apartment is kept warm with ducted heating, under-tile heating in the bathrooms and gas fires creating that warm and cosy environment that only a flame can provide.
“This project is an example of the sort of work that we love to do,” Rob said.
“Renovations, additions or alterations, that is the work our business specialises in and is known for. The most rewarding thing is when our clients are over the moon with the top-notch work we have produced. That is what it is all about.”
The most rewarding thing is when our clients are over the moon with the topnotch work we have produced. That is what it is all about.