Peppermint Grove House
Alterations and Additions
PEPPERMINT GROVE Western Australia

The project comprised of restoring and adapting a residence originally built in 1896. The owner of the house lived in the place as a child. It was subsequently sold by his parents. However an opportunity arose to which he repurchased the place later in life. His rich memories of the place and desire to protect the house from potential future demolition were the driving force behind the project.

The unique double storey timber framed and clad house was the anchor point in the overall design. A large portion of the project focused on restoring and conserving the house. Over the course of its lifetime it had been altered and adapted masking some key details. Historic photos were obtained by the owner proving invaluable for restoring lost external details to the verandah and bay windows.

Weatherboards are a predominant feature of the house wrapping all elevations. The boards were completely removed and insulation installed prior to reinstatement bringing the house up to current energy standards. Structural upgrades were implemented where possible. A large item was the western verandah. The whole verandah was deconstructed and reconstructed from the ground up. Where possible existing materials were reused throughout. Electrical works were non-compliant, stripped and redone. Lighting was a key consideration. Sympathetic interior lights were selected from the period in which the house was built. External lighting focused on showcasing the residence without being ostentatious. A mechanical A/C system was sympathetically incorporated into the residence. Ground floor mechanical services were installed under the timber floor with flush linear grilles designed to align with the timber boards. Upstairs the mechanical system is incorporated into the roof space with ceiling grilles.

The addition sought to respect the scale and rhythm of the house whilst differentiating itself via material and form. A cubic limestone addition south of the house contrasts the weatherboard clad, hipped roof, Victorian styled residence. Modern amenities were incorporated into the addition freeing the timber framed house of any potential issue of water ingress. Universal access between floors is provide via a lift. Floor levels between the addition and old residence are flush providing a seamless transition between areas.

Unlike other residences of the area the original house sat close to the west lot boundary with a large front set back. The lot boundary remains unchanged since its original subdivision. Landscaping focused on maintaining space around the building so as to allow the building to breath and become the focal point of the site. Lawns wrap the south and eastern elevations. Tiered terraces extend from the addition and frame the eastern lawn. The terraces, raised planting beds along with a pergola provide large flexible entertaining areas. Progressing north the terraces lead to a generous garage with access from the ROW.