Glebe Heritage – Edwardian Mansion

Glebe Heritage – Edwardian Mansion

an Edwardian classic is rejuvenated to become an enjoyable inner city home


Sally and Errol came to us an owners of an old Edwardian house in Glebe, the centre piece of a set of three houses built circa 1895. Having previously been converted into a boarding house, it had become a rabbit warren of dim passages and gloomy rooms. The owners had lived in dark inner city houses before so a critical priority of the renovation became bringing in as much natural light as possible. A second aspect of the brief was a studio space, removed from the busier parts of the house.

The home that they sought was one where the rooms were light and spacious, flowing from one into another and out into a garden. It would need to have plenty of built in storage and be a comfortable place for their extended family and friends to gather and stay.

From the beginning it was clear that the renovation of this house was not to be a restoration yet it was also important to all that the new additions be in harmony with the original fabric of the building. PWA sought to reveal and reinforce the character that existed within the building. PWA looked to the architects of the Edwardian period who were influential in the birth of modern design, such as Voysey, Mackintosh and Lutyens, who were then referenced for ways of bringing light into the building and in regards to the fine functionality of the detailed joinery.

A huge dormer window was inserted into the roof and the winding staircase was altered to pull light deep into the centre of the building, forming a grand double height entry space. Wrapping the new additions around the western and southern extremities of the block formed a courtyard and garden. All the rooms facing into the courtyard have large openings whose doors slide or fold away incorporating the courtyard into the house. Sally’s studio, a guest room and a garage are contained in the stable-like building on the southern and rear edge of the block, while the glazed building on the western edge links this building to the main house. The link building contains a laundry, guest bathroom and a sitting room. The kitchen sits inside the original house and forms the transition between the new additions and the old building. The bedrooms are housed within the roof space of the original house and a sense of shelter is expressed with the sloping ceiling space. All the rooms contain detailed joinery elements for storage that imbues each room with a different mood.

An air of mystery still surrounds the original building with its peaked turret and dark heavy walls. Inside, the impact of the alterations has been to invent a much lighter, airier, habitable home. The original character of the house has been released to be enjoyed by occupants and visitors alike.