Pivotal to Archier’s design is the courtyard garden that can be enjoyed from the new contemporary wing. Framed in glass, with dark and moody finishes within the open plan living areas, there’s a constant reflection of the garden. Polished concrete floors, cement-rendered walls and a large dose of mild steel joinery in areas such as the kitchen add to the ethereal quality of the spaces. The galley-style kitchen, for example, includes mild steel joinery that ‘morphs’ into an elongated pantry and storage area, complete with built-in bench seats that allow the garden to be enjoyed even when the clothes washing is loaded.
Although the glazed addition, with a separate bedroom wing, on the property’s northern boundary, is extremely transparent (the courtyard garden can be seen as soon as the front door is opened.), there’s a sense of solidity with the chunky concrete columns in the main living area. Prised away from the floor-to-ceiling glass windows, these structural columns add depth to the rear façade, frame windows and allow the sheer curtains to be concealed. “We were extremely mindful of the climate in Hobart, bringing in as much natural light as possible on what can be continuous cloud-covered days,”says Haddad.
Although the Battery Point house is moody, there are moments of light, both naturally lit and with the use of materials. The entirely clad island bench in the kitchen, for example, provides a subtle highlight in the relatively dark palette of materials used. There’s also a sense of lightness in the expression of the brass ‘feet’ that support this bench.
What was once a milk depot is now a fine contemporary home, with a mood that captures not only the owners’ personalities but also the often-somber outlook that makes Hobart so unique and envied. “You’re continually reminded of where you are,”says Gilbert, pointing out the reflections of the neighbouring heritage homes in the myriad of glass walls.