Honouring tradition whilst living sustainably

News /
9 March 2012
Honouring tradition whilst living sustainably

A run‐down 1880’s heritage listed terrace in The Rocks, Sydney, provides the perfect next project for acclaimed architect Caroline Pidcock. Situated in Argyle Place, one of Sydney’s most significant harbourside streetscapes, the two bedroom plus attic terrace offers Caroline and her partner John the opportunity of a lifetime to live in a piece of Sydney’s early history, and share the space with family and friends.

‘My partner fell in love with this area when he first came to Sydney in the early 90s so was interested in the houses as they came up for lease. This house attracted us as it was not too big, in relatively good condition with service rooms in reasonable locations, has a great orientation (facing north) and the potential of a lovely garden oasis’, Caroline says. Being a heritage building of immense historical value, any changes to the building can be extremely challenging, although Caroline is ready to take on the project with gusto.

Caroline comments ‘As conservators of a home in such an important area, we need to respect and restore the existing fabric as much as possible. Where the building fabric has been damaged beyond repair (mainly by termites and/or damp) we are replacing with materials to match what was there. The history of the house notes that it demonstrated the latest in building technologies when it was built in 1887. Therefore the new appliances, lights and furniture we are installing are state of the art examples that allow us to honour this tradition and to live sustainably.’ It is estimated the project will take around 2‐5 years, depending on the approvals and resources. To be able to live in the home whilst the project is taking place, it was important to make sure there was order and organisation in certain areas almost immediately ‐ in the bedroom and dressing room (second bedroom). The Ximula system offered the perfect solution for Caroline and John, and was chosen for this prestigious and much‐loved historical home. ‘I wanted the storage benefits of a built in wardrobe without the damage it would cause to the skirting boards and walls.

This system is attached only where the columns touch the walls, with all the other parts hanging off the columns. This means that if we decided to use the room for a different purpose in the future, it will be simple to remove it and repair the small holes. Importantly, we wanted something that would look great and timeless while functioning well.’

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