As much as Bluestone terraces are sought-after housing typologies in certain dense urban areas, this demand can often come from a lingering sense of nostalgia rather than the amenity they provide. Inadequate natural light, poor ventilation and general lack of connection to landscape are common issues with these inner-city fixtures – but alterations and additions similar to the one Altereco Design performed for Bluestone Terrace Pavilion in Williamstown, Victoria prove this doesn’t have to be the case.
The existing building was an 1880s-built terrace whose heritage needed protecting, but whose connection to the backyard simultaneously needed improving upon. Predominantly honing their focus towards the living space, Altereco Design took “a very delicate approach” to the heritage preservation of the building while addressing all those constraints that hindered liveability.
So as not to impact the existing Bluestone wall unnecessarily, a small incision was creating within the brickwork to create a “portal” between the old and new structures. This had the effect of connecting them while maintaining a respectful distance and mitigating damage to the original structure.
“Working with the deteriorating stonework was tricky,” says Altereco. “The rear terrace was made out of Bluestone rubble, which was breaking off in bits and pieces.”
To address the site’s lighting issues, north-facing windows were then fitted with double-hung sash windows and fixed directly to solid timber posts. This eliminated the use of superfluous frames and minimised thermal bridging while still capturing natural cross-ventilation.
“The property is close to the sea, so we wanted to maximise the sea breeze,” explain the designers. “We wanted to provide as much light as possible [as well as] an outlook to the established landscaping and green wall without making it simply a glass box.”