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Mount Pleasant is a National trust registered property comprising a Georgian residence (circa1835) and outbuildings set within a one acre garden setting. The project brief called for the renovation of the existing residence, the addition of a conservatory to provide everyday living and dining space and the construction of a new garage.
The project is in essence a re-organisation of the existing site through a series of new built elements. Through the insertion of a conservatory, garage, podiums and landscape walls a considered re-interpretation shifts the way the existing built and cultivated fabric is experienced.
A rigorous understanding of the material, scale, proportion and details of the existing structure allows for a sympathetic architectural language to be generated. Taking cues from the existing context the inserted elements are a series of measured formal (built) and informal gestures (landscape).
The formal address of the 1835 residence to the ordered garden is echoed throughout the pavilion.The new wall located to the rear of the conservatory references the highly detailed, finely struck sandstone façade of the existing. The striation of the sandstone flows toward the view of the garden and mountain in the distance. The paired columns, fascia detail and proportions of the existing veranda have been directly referenced and reinterpreted in the new pavilion.
The bluestone and rubble side of the existing building addresses a more informal landscape. The wall has been extended at the rear of the site to form a barrier, providing separation between the old and the new works. An effective close working relationship was formed with the Tasmanian Heritage Council for the duration of the project. The significance of the gardens and the landscaping was discussed throughout, informing the design process.
The addition of the conservatory provided the opportunity to establish a new connection to the garden which was previously denied. Stepping down into the landscape the addition allows the garden to be enjoyed from the comfort of the interior, along with from a series of new external spaces.
The conservatory employed a number of passive solar principles: considered orientation, eaves providing sun shading, double glazing, cross ventilation, and thermal mass. In addition an automated undertile heating system divided into 3 zones provides flexible heating. Each zone corresponds directly to the level of solar penetration. A polystyrene base under the slab minimises heat loss.
Access to the conservatory is through a low foyer that serves as both a transition space and a defined connection between the old and the new. A modified window opening provides access to the renovated kitchen while the open space of the addition extends towards the garden and view beyond.
A new garage sits at the rear of the property. The form is derived from the existing cottage, with its steeply hipped front and skillion roof to the rear. The steep pitch of the garage created the opportunity for a loft space, living space and ensuite. This additional space caters for visits from extended family.
Location: Sandy Bay, Tasmania, Australia
Type: Residential – Houses
Site Area: Approx. 4000m2
Total Floor Area: 285m2
Architects: Preston Lane Architects
Project Team: Daniel Lane, Nathanael Preston & Phil Ackerly
Photographs: Derek Swalwell