Welcome to our architectural voyeur followers. The pace continues on the Heartwood restoration project and now it's time for the artisan trades to work their magic on the existing buildings.

“Being an Adelaide Hills Tiersman’s cottage of some importance, it’s a little different from other early settler dwellings and as such deserves a little more respect,” explains Pauline Hurren, Principal Architect.

"The Heartwood pedigree has simple origins. As an active and happy home it has nurtured many families and acted as a refuge in times of need for the early workers who logged the surrounding forests, even possibly as Stirling’s first Inn. As one of the earliest dwellings in the area, it has been home to many families, some important, a few prominent and all of them loving. That is the legacy that we are reigniting.”


Surveyor John Baker, Heartwood’s Project Manger, remarks that thankfully, the bones of these early structures remain strong today. 

“We have everything we need to enable the new construction, and have identified the restorative activity for what already exists. Now it's time to get into it!”.

Let's start with the Stone. Master Stonemason Adrian Barentsen is restoring, repointing and in some cases rebuilding the walls in the existing dwelling. He is also creating new openings to create the linkages that Pauline wants in the new home.

“A really exceptional feature of the existing buildings is the variety of stone used, originally quarried from the site itself. We have managed to source the stone for the new building from a nearby quarry - so it is pretty close to the original stone.”

Construction techniques are as old as the stone itself, however, new knowledge learned from other historic rebuilds has specified a particular lime mortar mix that allows the stone to continue to naturally ‘breathe’.

Carpenter Clint Peel and his team of chippies have approached the interior detailing with due respect. Restoring what was inherently appropriate, adapting others for reuse and modelling the new works to be visually appropriate - such as keeping the new window and door sizes proportional to the existing.

The original dwellings have a roughcast plaster on the internal walls, which saw Master Plasterer Dave Brigham revive the art to refresh the existing and to marry that finish into the new build. Combined with the extensive glass and timber detailing, the result is to bring a cohesive whole to the finished home.

Choosing the interior design specifications was an enjoyable challenge for the Hurren team aiming to honour a cottage reflecting simpler times and to complement the new architectural expression. The materials chosen are placed so carefully with an artistic eye, and an obvious desire to build something special. From taps to tiles, from counter tops to colours, they all come together and respond beautifully to the site with Master Painter Ross Pirone and his assistants delighted with the coordinated colour scheme. 

“From modest to modern, the rebirth honours the buildings past while embracing the needs of today.” confirms Pauline, delighting in her signature inclusion of a generous glass roofed conservatory linking the old with the new and maintaining separation yet combining the spaces in charming unity.

The future form carefully retains the original charm of this property, with its rambling gardens, naturalistic swimming pool and outhouses.  The home is sympathetically restored and imaginatively expanded with the outdoor pavilions as incredible multi-use rooms.   

“Under the inspiring design vision and the craftsman’s care it will again be appreciated as a home of immense worth,” says Ouwens Casserly Real Estate agent Dale Gray who is closely following the progress of the Hurren Heartwood Team.

“Set under a century old oak tree, surrounded by blossom filled gardens filled with camellias and an abundance of bulbs you’ll look out through the scattered native gums to enjoy views across the valley. This is truly a private and picturesque haven."

Heartwood | Built 1867  | Reborn 2016  | A celebration of 150 years.

Follow this journey from creative design to active construction as I talk with Pauline Hurren, Principal Architect on Heartwood in each of the next phases of this small piece of early settlement history in one of Adelaide's most sought-after residential areas and prettiest towns in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia.