Set within the heritage conservation area of East Redfern, Sydney, this project is the residential conversion of a former warehouse.
At one time used as a Vegemite factory, this 2 storey brick warehouse was converted in the 1990s to an art gallery and architects office, with a residential apartment at the rear. Subsequently converted to an advertising agency, the new owners lived for a year in the space before holding an architectural competition to convert the space to their new home.
The brief called for a 4 bedroom home, with self contained guest accommodation, a home office, to be used as an equine genetics laboratory and a large garage space to store a collection of classic sports cars. There was a strong emphasis on maintaining an industrial feel to the conversion and the owners asked that there be no timber, marble or black finishes used in the renovation.
The 1990s conversion was completely removed to return the space to its original condition, with the large timber trusses being the most prominent component, together with the original brick walls, stripped as far as possible of the many layers of paint accumulated over the years. Fifty percent of the lower level was given over to the garage, while the remaining half was divided between the laboratory, guest suite, entry hall and a large internal courtyard, formed by removing the roof over half of two truss bays. This courtyard is accessed from the half landing of a new steel stair and is surrounded by an off-form concrete wall, containing a lap pool and garden beds. The upper level is divided on a strict alignment with the existing trusses, the northern end of the space having the roof removed to form a large terrace opening off the main living space. Bedrooms are located across the southern face of the building with service spaces and study running parallel to the stair along the western face. The bottom chord of the trusses is used as a horizontal datum, with all solid walls stopping at this level and clear glazing installed above to enclose the cellular spaces, while allowing visual continuity of the trusses and ceiling throughout the space.
The spaces are naturally ventilated by way of glass louvres to the internal courtyard, large sliding doors across the northern face of the living area and the original timber double hung windows around the perimeter. All north and west facing glazing has been shaded with external adjustable louvres and ceiling fans are installed in all spaces. Heating in winter is by way of hydronic radiators and underfloor heating to bathrooms.
Finishes consist of coloured cork flooring throughout, colour matched ceramic tiles to bathrooms and laundry, perforated mini-orb corrugated steel acoustic ceilings and Dekton benchtops. The laboratory has Corian surfaces to all workstations and benches. The courtyard and terrace have standard precast concrete paving slabs and are extensively landscaped, including real lawn for the family dog on the terrace.
Established in 1990, Ian Moore Architects, has won numerous national and international awards and has been exhibited in Australia and around the world, including Athens, Bangkok, Barcelona, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Dublin, Glasgow, London, Munich, Singapore,Tokyo and Vicenza. The work of the practice has also been included in the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2008 and 2012.