“Our friend Hoa took a huge risk and bought the oldest building she could find,” said Amy Bracks and Miles Ritzmann-Williams of ioa studio. Not only did the 150-year-old building not have a straight bone in it, the
“We wanted to create a sense of height, and add a third hidden bedroom into the existing roof space,” said the young designers. By removing the ceiling structure, they created enough height for a bedroom that sits on top of the open mezzanine.
Due to the unusual nature of the building, the builder was reluctant to sign a fixed contract. This enabled the young designers a rare opportunity to work hands-on alongside the builder and complete some of the onsite work themselves.
During the demolition process, Amy and Miles discovered the building’s many relics – from old candle holders to massive bluestone lintels. “The building gave us the chance to revive parts of the old pub that had sadly been covered up.” They go on to explain that “by being on site so much, we were able to discover and create many unexpected moments from a pull-out kitchen island bench to hidden mezzanine reading area.”
But of course, working in a 150-year-old building came with its fair share of unforeseen challenges, from crumbling
“The clients taste for a different colour and texture palette forced us to break out and come up with something very unusual,” said the designers, who settled on a colourful and tactile material palette for the interior. Seagrass lines the ceiling and flooring of the mezzanine level, army
“We used the small space to our advantage to create warmer, cozier living areas while using colours of the Australian bush to [design] exciting space to be in,” said the designers. They used colours and materials as a device to define different areas within the house, allowing them to keep the small space as open as possible.
If you were to read the high-level facts about this project – an old pub building found in a dull state,