Dreaming in colour

This former Masonic Temple was dark, neglected and lacking in architectural merit just what the new owners were looking for
Story by: Alison Wall
French doors lead directly from the main living backyard, canopy, deck, home, outdoor structure, patio, real estate, resort, roof, shade, white
French doors lead directly from the main living area to a large deck and pool area.

While some renovations demand a sympathetic handling of their architectural heritage, some buildings have no original features worth preserving.

For Tony Stella and John Dorrough, the owners of this former Masonic Temple, this wasn't necessarily a drawback.

"When you're renovating some old buildings, you need to be sympathetic to the original style, but in this case, there was no need. It was just a big ugly box."

Stella enjoys renovating buildings that weren't built as domestic properties his previous home was a disused Anglican church. But this one called for a different approach.


This building, a disused Masonic Temple, was architecturally home, house, neighbourhood, property, real estate, residential area, gray
This building, a disused Masonic Temple, was architecturally uninteresting before renovation. When the owners purchased the building, the cream coloured exterior was covered in graffiti.

Externally, the building was in a poor state, with a graffiti-covered facade and a forecourt that was operating as an unofficial neighbourhood car park.

Ready for a challenge, Stella set about renovating the house himself. The ground floor, which before purchase appeared to be just a small garage, turned out be a full 200m². That was converted to a garage, gymnasium and self-contained flat. Stella then created a new entrance, leading from a side road rather than the main road, and installed a set of front doors he found at auction and painted red.

Previously, very little light penetrated the interior's tiny high windows or three layers of heavy curtains. The homeowners opened up the upper-storey living space, and lightened it by removing internal block walls and adding extensive glazing along one side. A dark navy blue carpet was removed and the concrete floor lightly honed and sealed with a watertight sealant.

"We stripped the walls of their cladding, then rendered and painted the blockwork. We removed the original ceiling, which allowed the original metal trusses to be revealed, and installed a lightweight corrugated iron ceiling in its place."

Interior block walls were removed to form a interior design, lobby, real estate, gray
Interior block walls were removed to form a large open-plan living, dining and kitchen area.

The former toilet and kitchen area was converted into bedrooms. Additional entertaining space was created with an extension that forms the timber deck and pool on the upper storey.

"We built the pool on the same level as the living area, so that we can just step out onto it," he says. "It is also more private than it would be on the ground level, especially now we've installed plywood panelled railings and planted a bamboo hedge beyond that."

Double-width planks over the large deck area complement the raw, chunky feel of exterior, while twin canvas sails provide solar protection and soften the mass of the building.

Feb 01, 2008

Credit list

Interior colour consultant
Lorne's Consulting
Kitchen designer and manufacturer
Kitchen Direct
TV and projector
LG
Oven and cooktop
Kleenmaid
Decking
Endeavour Timbers
Doors and windows
Vision Glazing Supplies
Wall tiles
Tile City
Speakers
Yamaha
Refrigeration
Kleenmaid
Sails
Calypso Sailcraft
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