On the cusp of its 40th birthday, the renovation of 81 Kingston Terrace once again signals a rebirth of the home for a new generation – ironically the same progressive (but now older) generation that created it in the first place.
“Living in the 70’s” is a classic song (for some) but doesn’t encapsulate the aspirations of this client. Captured in a time warp the state of this Terrace was summed up by the subsequent song lyrics “I feel like a good time, that’s never been had……” – perhaps never is too strong, but certainly the “good times” of the house were a few years ago!
Originally Designed by Ian Hannaford, these six three storey terrace houses were awarded a Civic Trust award in 1974, for what was intended to be a new interpretation of a traditional housing form, for progressive elements of 1970’s Adelaide Society.
A home to grow old in actively, entertaining friends and family, the design needed to rethink vertical circulation, light, storage, provision for an ever expanding art collection, open up to the iconic ‘horse park’ and to provide a warm clean and contemporary feel.
Good bones and great views were clearly in evidence, but bulky brick stairs cut the living areas in half. Once removed, with little more than the shell and partial floor plate to remain, and clawing back every bit of floor space previously given away to indents and redundant light wells, it was essential that whilst a sense of the original remained, new moves were not only evident but celebrated.
The revised interior needed to set about re-establishing linkages to the external environment by drawing together the existing dislocated spaces into a free flowing sophisticated whole – a constant driver that informed decisions and was referred to consistently through all aspects of the design.
Whilst virtually every external opening has been altered, the essence of this adaptive reuse from a tired but interesting 1970’s time warp to a contemporary expression of 21st century urban ‘retirement living’, lives and breathes on its interior resolution.
The Achilles heel of the original building being its low ceilings and lack of flexibility have been manipulated (with respect to the ceilings) and eliminated (with respect to lack of flexibility) by bold structural changes that have all but removed them from the consciousness of the owners and visitors, and provides cross ventilation and day lighting opportunities.
Moving the stairs to a single run of suspended treads opened the front to the back, and the resulting structural gymnastics are addressed by a ceiling that folds up and down, defining the functional spaces of dining, living, kitchen and circulation, and concealing new plant and structure. Lighting recesses and efficient LED strips reinforce these spaces, with a flair for the dramatic satisfied by the plunging pendants over the stair landing.
Vertical circulation is celebrated by a joinery core, housing kitchen and study elements that rises through the 3 levels and anchors the timber treads of the stair.
A fabulous smoked and limed oak floor tempers the limited palette and provides a balance to furnishing of the main space. Whilst upstairs, flowing curtains, padded bed head and bleached sustainable plywood ceiling soften the master suite.
Perhaps the best outcomes are measured by the reactions of the clients and their words. Given that the shell was already there the following text received days after Trina and Rick moved in sums it up –
>At last enjoying the amazing space you have made for us! Thanks so much for all Sophia and you have done – Trina and Rick<
On the cusp of its 40th birthday, the renovation of 81 Kingston Terrace once again signals a rebirth of the home for a new generation – ironically the same progressive (but now older) generation that created it in the first place. “Living in the 70’s” is a classic song (for some) but doesn’t encapsulate the aspirations of this client. Captured in a time warp the state of this Terrace was summed up by the subsequent song lyrics “I feel like a good...
- Year 2011
- Work finished in 2011
- Status Completed works
- Type Single-family residence / Interior Design / Building Recovery and Renewal