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The Stables, Inverleigh

Project Value - $657K

Client - Private Residence

Architect - Ryan Thompson Architect

Heritage stables transformed to stunning residential home

Built in the 1850's by the Berthon family The Stables was in a dilapidated state. Yet while in poor condition with a roof close to collapse, the building maintained a high degree of integrity with internal and external joinery detail and decorative schemes surviving. Thus the appeal to convert the brick stables to a family residence while preserving its original features was high.

The heritage protected facade was damaged, however dismantled and rebuilt by hand using the bricks made at the property in the 1850's, the original English bond pattern was maintained.

The eastern end of the generally symmetrical u-shaped building is slightly higher having housed a hayloft. While the loft is no longer it's floor line is represented by the suspension of the original loft beams above the kitchen.

The feature timber ceiling in the open plan kitchen, living and dining zone showcases the original ceiling line of the loft. It was a personal choice to expose the joints to not only introduce a contemporary twist, but also showcase the skills and excellence of the carpenters. Compound mitre joints at the change of direction in the sitting room further emphasises this.

The raked ceiling continued throughout the home follows the original line of the ceiling, creating a sense of space and volume as well as visual excitement and an interest point to the historical value of the home.

The floor pattern below the former hayloft was of graded brick. Not suitable for the modern home, timber floors were laid, however they were placed to reflect the original layout of the three horse stalls and drainage channel. The carefully measured and positioned floorboards complete the floor to ceiling considerations, replicating and highlighting the main features of the original stables within this zone.

The internal and external doors reflect the design of the original stable doors showing braced backs. The wide ladder door jambs are traditional in design and illustrate what can be seen in the original house on the property.

The skirts and cornicing are also representative of what can be seen in the property's original homestead. It was necessary the cornice follow the ceiling junction to draw one's eye to the magnificent feature ceiling and provided some interesting compound mitre joints for the plasterer.

The tiles laid within the laundry were removed from the original homestead and stored for several years. Well worn, each was mortared into place and carefully levelled to create a flat surface. It was considerably challenging reusing 150 year old tiles as many were well worn and very eneven.

The slate roof was dismantled with the slates preserved for later reuse. The quantity collected only spanned 75 percent of the roof space, however the remaining was sourced from a vendor in the township of Inverleigh who ascertained that slate from the same shipment was used on another building in the area in the mid 1800's. Consequently the roof appears as per the original stables roof. When accepting the challenge of bringing a piece of dilapidated history back to life, you know that the investment is far more than economical, it is emotional. Decades of family ties to the property only sought to emphasise the key objectives of the build.

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