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Birchgrove terrace

Architect: Fin Murray, Architect Fin
Completed in December 2012 taking 5 months in total (finished a month early)

At first, the client requested the ground floor be on one level, however this would prove extremely difficult as there was rock rising up in the middle of the house. It was recommended instead to have a step at the start of the kitchen area and do a polished concrete slab to define the space and create a break between rooms.

It was also suggested that instead of doing a polished top slab the normal structural slab be polished, which saved the client a lot of money. Genuine Building Services laid ply down after it was polished to protect it during the build.

The clients had an emotional attachment to their house and during demolition it seemed such a waste to dispose of the old bricks. Instead they were reused and turned into the retaining  wall in the rear courtyard so now they have a story to tell.

Access and storage during this project was difficult. A mini excavator had to be taken up the front sand stone wall, through the properties front door and out the back to perform the excavation. Due to the difficult access, demolition and excavation material had to be removed by hand into skips and tip trucks.

The feature wall in the kitchen was an existing brick wall that was out of square, out of plumb and unstable. At the beginning of the build it had to be stabilised, allowing the kitchen to be built around it.

The chimney’s feature brick work was in extremely poor shape; therefore it was repointed by Genuine Building Services ensuring the lime mortar was not damaged in the process.

The kitchen, staircase and hidden toilet joinery had to be carefully considered with the joiner and architect to resolve the hidden toilet details making sure it was functional as a toilet, however, was not noticeable as a one  because it backed onto a living room.

There was concern over the timber batten staircase handrail affecting the light coming from the skylights and being too bulky for the space.  Genuine Building Services came up with a design solution to use steel rods that were made onsite to reduce the bulkiness and let through the light onto the staircase.

Kitchen and living
Kitchen bench made from recycled timber
Hidden appliance cupboard in the kitchen
Hidden appliance cupboard in the kitchen (closed)
Laundry and fridge hidden behind joinery (doors open)
Laundry and fridge hidden behind joinery (doors closed)
Living and dining showing the retained original fireplaces
Polished concrete floors
View of the rear of the house
Bricks from the old house were reused in the back courtyard
Rear courtyard and glass doors
Door hardware
Master bedroom
Top rear deck
Main bedroom joinery
Main bathroom
Skylight above the stairs
View from the top of the stairs
Privacy screen on top rear deck
Front of house
Front downstairs external window
External storage cupboard
Front Deck
Front step