The Local Project (January 13, 2023) – Renovating an old house in Hobart, Bence Mulcahy added a two-storey extension made of glass and steel. Named Greenhouse, the structure replaces a 1980s iteration in a manner that best engages the nearby veranda, courtyard and garden.
Video timeline: 00:00 – Cloudy Bay 00:12 – Introduction to the Greenhouse 00:53 – The Brief for the Renovation 01:19 – House Tour of the Home 02:16 – The Sandstone Base of the Building 02:30 – The Lower and Upper Floor of the Extension 03:15 – The Exterior of the Greenhouse 03:25 – The Interior Materials Chosen 03:48 – The Furniture and Furnishing of the House 04:50 – Cloudy Bay
Located in the Hobart suburb of Mount Stuart, Greenhouse forms a contemporary addition to a red brick, Federation-style Italianate home. The new volume looks out onto the Derwent River and is supported by a veranda and a well-established garden complete with plants, trees and sandstone retaining walls. Bence Mulcahy identifies the key to renovating an old house is relating the extension to the main building – Greenhouse mirrors the scale of the existing dwelling, proposing a strong sense of verticality.
A house tour of the dream home begins at the formal entry space and transitions into the main hall. Beyond lies the beginning of the extension. The process of renovating an old house sees the final extension enclose the dining room, kitchen and an extra eating area. Upstairs, the addition houses an ensuite bathroom and walk-in wardrobe. Ample glazing then allows the home to borrow visual space from the external landscape.
Bence Mulcahy takes a seasoned approach to renovating an old house, inserting voids in order to manage the sense of privacy. A two-storey void is left over the dining room, whilst a separate alcove of the same size is located above the upstairs ensuite. Creating a glasshouse structure using a combination of glass and steel, Bence Mulcahy pays homage to a greenhouse inspiration. The durable nature of the material palette is particularly relevant to renovating an old house, promising an enduring outcome.
Internally, copper sinks and a copper island bench complement a wax-sealed timber floor and array of curated soft furnishings. Utilising the skills of local craftsmen, Bence Mulcahy does justice to the personal nature of the home. Greenhouse stands as a lesson in house renovation and embraces the tranquil quality of its natural surrounds.