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

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - NEWS - writes JARRAD BE­VAN

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.

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