Walker House

18-1 Walker House

This project involved the creation of a new house simultaneous with the restoration of a Georgian cottage listed on the Tasmanian Heritage Register.  The cottage is retained as the functional core of the house, with additional spaces located in a new wing joined to it by a glass-roofed link that makes visual the temporal gulf between new and existing elements.  Works to the cottage included the restoration of lost features such as timber gutters and shingles, as well as the stabilisation and preservation of retained building fabric. In contrast, new works are unashamedly modern. Glass in particular is used extensively, for transparency but also to counterpoint the solidity of the cottage.  This exemplary insertion of a new house into an historic context, simultaneous with the restoration of a heritage-listed Georgian cottage presented a huge challenge but the result provides an outstanding example of what can be achieved within these constraints.

Hand in hand with a sensitivity to heritage values, sustainability was also a guiding principle in the design: the new wing is shaped to maximise winter sun penetration, but to limit it in summer by use of roof overhangs and sunshades, and an air circulation system captures passively warmed air and vents it into the cottage to provide a stable temperature throughout the whole house.