Hawthorn House

Victoria / Australia / 2014

18
18 Love 2,111 Visits Published

The house was constructed in 1857 and is an important example of the Colonial architect John Gill’s work. It is listed with Heritage Victoria as having historic and architectural significance to the State of Victoria. The house was constructed for Hawthorn land owner, Michael Lynch. It exhibits, through symmetry and proportion, the aesthetic characteristics of the Georgian style.


Our brief was to provide modern amenities, and to create a home where new works were in keeping with the quality and style of the original building. We determined that new works should be contemporary and distinct from the original home, be elegant and well proportioned, and be robust and strong enough to complement the substantial nature of the original home.

The core concept of this project was to let the light in. The original home was dark, contained, a series of separated spaces with little visual or actual connectivity to each other or to the great outdoors. The house needed to be seen, to be opened up, to be connected with the garden, to allow a family with four boys to move freely in and out of it.


By making small changes. Small interventions allowing the Heritage Listed house to retain its integrity but connecting it to the garden, connecting the spaces within the house, connecting it to climate. Creating new openings, replacing solid openings with glass, forming new pathways through and outside the house. Creating a north facing space that opens the house to the broader site.


By sticking to a palette of black and white, connecting the old with the new, emphasising light and shade. We used contrasting matt and shiny materials like timber and galvanised steel.


By allowing modern amenities to slip in around the original home, so that the house is without compromise. By connecting the spaces within the house, such that every space is used.

Materials are raw (galvanised steel exposed structure, polished concrete, or steel painted with black anthracite as used on industrial structures) and tactile. The stone paving of the basement, where the servant bells remain in place, opens onto the new polished concrete slab. Skylights wash light down the bluestone wall, emphasising its texture.

The success of the project stems from a very strong collaboration between the client, builder and architect. Great communication ensured that two end goals, one of a happy client with a fulfilled brief, and the other of a great design outcome, were not mutually exclusive. We felt privileged to be part of such a great team.

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    The house was constructed in 1857 and is an important example of the Colonial architect John Gill’s work. It is listed with Heritage Victoria as having historic and architectural significance to the State of Victoria. The house was constructed for Hawthorn land owner, Michael Lynch. It exhibits, through symmetry and proportion, the aesthetic characteristics of the Georgian style. Our brief was to provide modern amenities, and to create a home where new works were in keeping...

    Project details
    • Year 2014
    • Work finished in 2014
    • Contractor Kleev Homes Pty Ltd, James Kleeverlaan
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Single-family residence / Interior Design / Building Recovery and Renewal
    Lovers 18 users