14 Molle Street, Hobart, Tasmania 7000
+03 6292 9277
As so often happens with heritage buildings, additions are made that mask, rather than celebrate, the beauty and purpose of the original structure. Blue Magnolia is a rare example of an 1840s row house building on an internal lot in urban Hobart that caught the artistic eyes of our client and piqued their interest.
To create a spectacular extension with ‘wow’ factor, we embraced the dual tactics of conservation and restoration. Stripping back the unsympathetic 1980’s structures revealed an opportunity to enhance the original 1840’s building with modern amenities. Hints of the previous layout can be found in subtle and not-so subtle ways, from the plywood lining that marks passages through thick stone walls, to the void and visible upper floor patching that takes the place of the two original stairwells.
By pairing back Blue Magnolia’s history of alterations, one can connect the old with the new. This is most visible via a series of skylights that introduce more natural light and are a nod to the surrounding urban setting. Existing now as a series of simple, dark coloured rectangular forms with a curious internal stone patchwork feature, Blue Magnolia is visually subservient to its original design but in a way that supports its contemporary use.
Project start: 2013
Gross floor area: 36m2
Architect: Rosa Douramanis at Biotope Architecture and Interiors
Photographer: Peter Mathew