85 Dawson Street Cooks Hill

A year ago, this inner city, semidetached townhouse was tired and rundown and in desperate need of restoration. Located within the heritage conservation area of Cooks Hill, the dwelling had elements of historic charm and integrity that the clients had a deep desire to retain. The clients also wanted a seamless transition from old to new, whilst accommodating a contemporary family lifestyle for them and their two children.

Orton Building were challenged to maintain the integrity of the street frontage on a small block and gracefully blend the bold new addition to the rear of the property behind the existing roofline. While the row of attached homes remains the dominant streetscape feature, the modern addition is distinctive from the rear of the property.

The distinction between the old and new is symbolically signified through an innovative glass ceiling link. This glass feature allows natural light to delve into the deeper recess of the older portion of the home whilst maximising warmth during winter and excluding added heat during summer. It also required all hands-on deck for installation as it weighed in at 170kgs.

Increasing the amount of light entering the home and resolving rising damp issues were of paramount importance to the client’s brief. The provisions of high level insulation added to the ceilings and walls of the existing dwelling and addition alike, resulted in making the once cold and dark house into one which is much more comfortable and efficient. Moreover, the inclusion of solar panels to reduce energy consumption were integrated increasing the environmental credentials of the project.

Storage was important to the clients and has been cleverly integrated under the narrow stairs, within the laundry and in several designated storage pods in the backyard. The under-stair storage and master bedroom have modern invisible handles to help the storage blend seamlessly into the walls.

Being flexible in nature is paramount to Orton Building’s approach with clients building their custom designed, dream homes. This approach allowed for the client to have a ‘plan as you go’ mentality so that they could make multiple variations to their original scope throughout the build. Although the client made an unusually high amount of variations, they were very happy with the end result and got exactly what they wanted in their inner city family home.

Date Complete

– January 2018