From the architect:
'Highfield', a Federation Arts and Crafts dwelling in Sutton Forest was sensitively restored throughout, respecting the history of the beautiful dwelling while improving the interconnection of spaces, infusing the spaces with natural light and enhancing the outlook from each room.
We were tasked with improving the usability and amenity of the existing dwelling, a heritage listed Federation Arts & Crafts building with 1990s additions. The existing rooms were dark and disconnected, and the low windows under a hipped verandah roof curtailed views and light. The design was to respond to the particular microclimate of the Southern Highlands, with strong winds owing to a hilltop location, and magnificent views down the valley.
Spaces were opened up between the east facing rooms to encourage views both within the building and down the valley. Removal or alteration of later, poorly configured additions enabled the introduction of a new living wing, and connection to a new internal garage and informal entry.
Along with a new paint scheme, expansive new picture windows and sensitive adjustment to existing apertures, we achieved better configuration of spaces and encouraged light and ventilation into the rooms.
A new, light filled wing, punctuated with floor to ceiling glazing and topped by a roof lantern within a soaring cathedral ceiling, provides a bright, expansive space for living. This new space is protected by a walled garden which wraps the building to the north and west, providing year-round comfort in the Southern Highlands climate.
New materials reference the historic building whilst remaining distinct. Terracotta shingles on the first floor are represented by new, terracotta hued brickwork with matching mortar. A charcoal standing seam roof allies with existing slate tiles.
The reconfiguration of spaces has opened up the whole of the house to daily use, enabled a closer connection with the outdoors and prepared this beautiful home for another century.