Inside out A CLASSIC UPDATED
A project in Launceston shows how old and new can mix in a stylish, satisfying way, bringing light and a sense of space into the home, says JARRAD BEVAN
WHEN S. Group architect Tim Fry rolled up his sleeves and got to work on his client’s George St house in Launceston, the brief was to simplify the experience of the home.
His clients wanted comfortable outdoor living that connected with the internal spaces of the house.
It was also important to take full advantage of the hilltop views.
Tim said about half of the house is original and is believed to have been built late in the 19th century.
“Very little was added during the build but we did remove and rebuild all of the previous extensions other than the garage,” he said. “The living spaces, kitchen, laundry and main bathroom have all been redesigned and rebuilt.”
Tim said working with an existing building provided much more in the way of design constraints than designing a house with a blank canvas.
He said this could be really interesting because the new architecture needed to respond to the previous work and hopefully complement it.
“When working with alterations and additions, ideas and opportunities arise that would otherwise never be explored,” he said.
“We feel like the worst thing that we could do would be to mimic the style and designs of the past, as these buildings where also once contemporary and spoke of their own time.
“Instead, architecture should continue to tell the story of its own time; this is all the more important in the context of historically significant buildings.”
Throughout the home are beautiful timber features, with the same species used for the lighter coloured highlights at the thresholds.
Tim said the ceiling folded up as materials changed inside the space to create a layered effect, reinforcing the connection between the inside and outside.
The main bathroom is equally impressive, with the final result influenced by input from the home owners, who wanted to create a spacious and classic bathroom with good lighting.
Tim said the half-egg shaped stone bath was a personal selection of theirs; it complemented the tiling and stonework of the benchtops.
“The double-sided flame heater in the living space serves to divide the areas without walls,” Tim said.
“It also hides the television from view and provides warmth.
“It was designed to be a bold piece without creating a closed-in feel.”