This project is a conversion of the heritage listed Bulls Head Hotel (originally built 1828) into two apartments. A notorious watering hole during the 1800's, the sandstone building later served as a private school, and then finally became a private residence. From the outset the architects felt that work within a building of such strength of character and historical importance must be minimal. A tight budget meant the proposal would be composed of a series of small-scale, material interventions.
As an admirer of the building since his early childhood, the client purchased the property in a dilapidated state, and sought to restore the building and convert it into inner-city apartments.
A key design challenge for the project was to reconcile and rework the sectional relationship throughout the building, which was originally split awkwardly across five-and-a-half levels. A lack of natural light and poor condition of the interior also meant that a large proportion of the budget was used in restorative work, involving the removal of walls and an opening of the building to sunlight and the rear courtyard.
Rigorous research and ongoing liaison with heritage officers allowed for the reinstatement of an original opening within the façade, which was a major determinant in the arrangement of the apartments. Importantly, the building retains its strong character to the street, magnifying the external order of the Classical Georgian envelope against the amenity and dynamism of the interior.
The two resulting apartments are each distinct in character. Connected via the original Huon pine staircase, the upper level apartment is more formally derived, and centres on the original living room overlooking Goulburn Street. In comparison, the lower level apartment is split dynamically across three levels and establishes new connections from the street through to a new courtyard at the rear. The original cherry blossom was retained throughout onsite works and serves to trigger the intimacy of the courtyard.
A considerable number of onsite detail design discussions took place with the builder, who executed details with extraordinary sensitivity and craftsmanship. All timbers and sandstone removed during the restoration were reconditioned and reused elsewhere in the project. The Tasmanian oak joinery elements are treated variously as spatial dividers and as a material contrast against the existing fabric.
RAIA (TAS) Architecture Awards, The Roy Smith Heritage Award 2012
RAIA National Architecture Awards, Shortlist 2012
INTERIOR/EXTERIOR PAINTS, STAINS & COATINGS
HALLIDAY & BAILLIE
NATURAL FLOOR COVERINGS SISAL HOUNDSTOOTH
DORF, BATHS SHOWERS
ACO POLYCRETE, LINEAIRE
DORF, ADELPHI SINK MIXER
DORF, WASHING MACHINE SET
ROGERSELLER, FLOOR WASTE