Approaching Glasshouse restaurant, it’s not immediately clear you’re in the right place. The modern restaurant is partially obscured on both sides by a twinset of repurposed heritage-listed buildings, set on a rural site in New South Wales with a 186-year-old history. It’s an odd place for a modern, glass box-shaped restaurant. But as much as the design by TKD Architects is a sharp contrast to the existing buildings, its form and material palette nonetheless draw from the agrarian history of the land.
Glasshouse Restaurant is located on the site of the 1831 Goonoo Goonoo Station. Inspired by the site’s rural past, the new building – which accommodates up to 90 guests – sits as a modern addition between a 1950s shearing shed and a brick wool store from the 1870s.
Nowadays, the wool store is now home to a function hall with capacity for up to 160 guests. The shearing shed now operates as a smaller, supplementary events space.
As the name would suggest, the restaurant is a predominantly glass-based building. The modern addition to the more than century-old site is characterised by a glass box structure that sits between two repurposed heritage-listed buildings. Elements of timber, stone and black steel that have been incorporated into the façade tie back into this architectural heritage.
The architect’s past-meets-present approach continues throughout the interiors, where an emphasis on raw materials such as timber, brass and black steel is evident. The large, glazed-glass walls of the building envelope open out onto the eastern hills that surround the historic Tamworth property.
Since completion, TKD’s Glasshouse design has been recognised both locally and internationally. Recently, the project was awarded both the Sir Arthur G Stephenson Award for Commercial Architecture and the Blacket Prize for Regional Architecture at the 2017 NSW Architecture Awards.
“As a major new destination for the region, the Glasshouse has already had a considerable impact on the local economy, proving popular with locals and visitors alike,” noted the jury.
“More broadly, the transformation of Goonoo Goonoo Station, and the skilful efforts of the architects over almost a decade – several clients – is a testament to their commitment to the place, and to revitalising the region’s economy through design excellence.”
Most recently, Glasshouse at Goonoo Goonoo Station was shortlisted for the World Architecture Festival (WAF) Awards in the New and Old category.