Welcome followers and fellow architectural voyeurs. Challenges of construction always create a ‘healthy tension’ between reviving past glories and meeting present day requirements.

Under the skilled guidance of Pauline Hurren of Hurren Architects, the Heartwood intricate restoration and transformation project continues with plans drawn and trades assembled. But can the dreams be turned into reality?

I started to wonder if the love affair with these delightful stone dwellings would wither under the realities of construction. Was this indeed a foolhardy escapade or will it truly be an example of adaptive reuse architecture and construction.

Moving swiftly from plan to the construction phase, the initial task was to determine just what the site actually offered, or rather didn’t offer, to the Hurren Architectural Team. 

The primary elements of the site comprised of a number of existing dwellings and outbuildings, many levels of stone terracing and an elevated pool. Additionally, it seemed like the structural elements that were to be majestically transformed were scattered across the site with difficult linking access. 

Real opportunities for these disparate outbuildings grew more obvious with the refurbishment of the swimming pool confirmed as a possibility. This was real progress. But still the first sod was yet to be turned.

But, above every other challenge was site access. 

Sounds simple, right? A basic need for any development to get underway is demolition and removal, through to material delivery and construction.  Although, ‘demolition’ sounds a little drastic, as the works here are more akin to salvage and discovery.

However, with only a narrow front street entrance, the construction site is accessed down a steep, winding, and often slippery path, leading onto stone steps. Impossible for any heavy machinery access or indeed even delivery trucks.

“It called for some imaginative thinking,” laughs Pauline. 

“We also wanted to complete the works with a minimum of disruption to the site, including the works already underway in the garden rejuvenation.”

Then, a solution presented itself. Negotiation with the rear neighbour across the valley ensured dry weather access. This enabled all the large framing materials to be delivered on truck and crane through the neighbour’s property to the lower level of the Heartwood site. 

Coming onto the site at street level, the new locally quarried stone was carried down that narrow, slippery path by hand and into place. The higher street access actually was of benefit for pumping the foundation concrete, where gravity worked as an advantage for consistent flow.

With slabs poured, lining bricks delivered, face stone collected and framing timbers ready – construction of the new built form areas now takes shape swiftly and continues quickly while the temperamental Adelaide Hills weather allows.

While this was occurring, the trades were assembled to lovingly further restore the original dwellings. On this stone dwelling transformation, artisans carry out the architectural construction. True craftsmen in the adaptive re-use of historic buildings. But you'll read more on that next time …

“I am enjoying watching the progress as Pauline and her team breathe new life into this special property,” says Ouwens Casserly Real Estate agent Dale Gray.

“It’s not too much to say that while it will remain modest, it is a ‘grand design’ worthy of Heartwood’s core character.”

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.

 

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.

Pauline Hurren describes why Heartwood is a challenging building site with no end to the creative possibilities.

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.

An architectural achievement

 

The tranformation of an Adelaide Hills Tiersmens cottage into the magnificent home of Heartwood House is now complete.

 

Using artisan trades people and locally sourced stone this build is a homage to the history of this region.  Over 150 years on, this home is now on offer as luxurious accommodation.

 

Thought to be sold and demolished, the Hurren family were keen to purchase the land and restore this piece of early settlement history.  

 

Built around the time of planning for the town of Stirling, this home has housed many families that have supported the local community. 

 

From founding members of the Grand United Order of Oddfellows through to school masters and tradesmen.  There is even talk of a moment in time as an unlicensed premises.

 

Surveyor John Baker, who was appointed as Project Manger comments “An aspect that excited me was the historical elements, which saw me talking with local historians and searching the State Archives for details about its former uses.” 

 

Through out the build, challenges presented themselves in the form of access to the steep sloped site along with the inclusion of historic dwellings. 

 

“It called for some imaginative thinking” says Pauline “It was a fluid process involving continuous improvement and refinement to the design, responding to the site and built form”

 

Shingles, lintels and other items from the original building were restored and reused, while window and door openings were mimicked to create balance. 

 

Materials were selected to create a cohesive link including locally quarried stone handled by artisan tradespeople using traditional construction techniques. 

 

Featuring modern conveniences, the rebirth honours the historic past while embracing the needs of today. 

 

A signature of Pauline’s work, the glass roofed conservatory, meshes together the old and new.

 

Pauline and her family proudly run an Architectural firm and are well known for their work in stone and historic re-adaption design.

 

With more than 40 years experience,, the company operates on the premise that every project is tailor made to meet the clients needs.

 

“We consider and embrace the site location, while maximising views and contemplating the relationship of the proposed building to its surrounds” says Pauline.

 

Not ready to hand over the luxurious home for sale, the Hurren family have opened Heartwood House as a unique accommodation location set in the picturesque Adelaide Hills.  

 

Book accomodation at  heartwoodhouse.com.au