Transformation of a previously cramped and awkward flat at the top of a Victorian church.
After a lazy ’80s conversion, the flat was one of only a handful that had retained any original features – in this case the tops of three large arched stained glass windows and the impressive curved roof of the apse itself.
The challenge was to create a harmonious relationship between new and old, while resolving the practical difficulties of the unusual space. The central design idea was to re-arrange the existing mezzanine with two void spaces and a new half-spiral timber staircase, winding up under the curved beams of the apse.
The mezzanine, staircase and other joinery elements are all constructed from knotless Radiata pine, with the staircase constructed from a CNC cut kit of parts. This economical material was lightly whitened with oil, and provides a counterpoint to the red bricks and darker timber of the church.
The existing building also required careful restoration. The roof structure, covered with layers of dark brown varnish, was sandblasted to reveal the charm of the original timber. And some careful work was carried out to disguise damage to brickwork and stone features, returning the church to its former glory.
The projected featured on Dwell and is part of Open House 2017