HERITAGE TERRACE RESTORATION
Stately Four story Terrace house with State Heritage significance – restoration, renovation, interior design and new attic room and roof terrace with spectacular harbor views.
Warick and Roslyn came to us having bought a wonderful but neglected four story terrace house with State Heritage significance in McMahons Point. The house is one of three terraces. It was a 1980’s peach colour inside and out and had had many lives including the original stately terrace house, a boarding house and an unsympathetically renovated single house again with 1980’s style concrete balconies at the back and aluminium windows. The brief was to improve the amazing top level of the house which had harbour views and to lovingly restore the 1900’s Terrace to its former glory. Summing it up Jenny Brown, a journalist from the Sydney Morning Herald commented, “a heritage listed ornate 1900’s terrace with spectacular views of the opera house and harbour bridge - you couldn’t get more Sydney than that!”.
Attic roof terrace and attic room - The driving force behind the renovation was that there was a roof terrace with spectacular view but it was a touch too low to appreciate the views and there was also an adjacent attic room but the harbour bridge and opera house could only be seen through a skylight. The brief was to make this attic room a proper room with spectacular views and a better connection to the roof terrace.
Privacy issues - Another issue with the house were the concrete roof terraces on three levels. These were potentially useful but unfortunately had no privacy from the modern office blocks across the back lane. The brief here was to create subtle privacy screens while still beautifying the back facade of the house.
Aesthetic upgrade of house - The house was a 1980’s peach colour inside and out and many areas were neglected and damaged such as the timber floor, awful carpet, fireplaces, tiled basement area and falling apart sandstone front verandah. The house needed an upgrade in areas such as lightning, windows and doors, door hardware and joinery.
Basement - There was a big basement level but this really felt like a dark and cold basement. The challenge here was to make is warm and cosy and to create a little “flat” for adult family members and visitors to stay.
We removed the back roof section of the attic room and created a big scallion dormer which is a rectangle shaped dormer window. This has large glass sliding doors facing the roof terrace and the harbour view. While doing this we kept the front facade with its more traditional dormer window
We raised the roof terrace up about 60cm which took it just above the rooftop of the neighbouring office building and then we put some nice wide steps which connect the attic room and the terrace. A traditional palisade fence was added for safety and beauty. Now its the most popular place for new years ever celebrations.
At ground level we pulled out the rotting kauri pine floor and put down a spectacular oak herringbone parquetry floor, restored the fireplace hearths, did a new paint job and installed curtains. We also installed wallpaper in the entrance hall, choose lovely new light fittings and designed a custom joinery cabinet under the stairs with diagonal drawers for storage. We designed book shelves to go either side of the fireplaces as well. On the kitchen terrace we did a subtle landscaping intervention. A lattice screen was put up and planter beds with vines. Two mirrors were also added. Now they don't have to share they life with the office workers across the back lane.
On the bedroom level we made the cute back room with the view the master bedroom. The large front room became a large dedicated home office with back to back decks in the middle and the middle room because a walk in dressing room.
In the basement we spend a lot of effort solving dampness issues with water proof membranes, damp proof courses and, having solved the damp issues we were then able to put down a beautiful oak floor and to paid the rooms and install nice light fittings. The result is a cosy guest wing that no longer feels like a basement. We installed a laundry that feels like a kitchenette with a ceramic butlers sink.
The front facade is quite ornate and beautiful underneath the peach colour so we carefully devised a new colour scheme and put effort into patching the crumbling sandstone steps.
The house services were upgraded including; electrical, plumbing roofing, air conditioning and storm water.
Being heritage listed with the State Heritage Office we had to guide the clients and the design proposal though a more complex council approve process. A Heritage Consultant was engaged to research the history of the house and to give advice on the renovation. It was approved with minimal fuss despite a demanding council.
Warick and Ros engaged the team at Danny Broe Architect to project manage the whole process from beginning to end (as we often do) and the usual expert consultants, builders and tradespeople contributed valuable skills at every stage. A structural engineer worked with us to ingrate the new structure with the old and AS & KB Constructions builders contributed their impressive knowledge of traditional construction and modern construction. A successful building project is always the result of a team effort and we are grateful to people such as joiners, electrician, plumber, painter, damp proofer, renderer, air con consultant, lighting supplier and door and window manufacturer.