A long investigation launched the project, where architects, owners, and builders worked collaboratively with the heritage consultant, Praxis Environment, to determine what aspects of the home needed to be stripped back to reveal historical features. Architects outline that later additions were removed, including the sunroom, verandah, and entrance portico in order to reflect the home’s original simple form. The roof was replaced with a galvanised corrugated metal edition that aligns with its existing form.
Core Collective explain their “vision was to restore the house and stables back to their original fabric, with new work to be distinctly modern but visually quiet and complimentary”. Therefore, original elements have been paired with new joinery insertions that speak with a contemporary voice. New wooden shelving units and deep green marble benchtops sit comfortably against original convict-sawn timber pieces, creating a welcoming, multi-layered space.
The restoration of Hollow Tree House involved a range of traditional techniques and locally sourced and recycled materials. “Traditional craftspeople were engaged including stonemasons, plasters, joiners, and steelworkers, to ensure the materials and methodology of restoration was as close as possible to the original”, said the architects.
“Hollow Tree House was built in the early years of the Van Diemen’s Land colony in what we now call Tasmania,” explain Core Collective Architects. “The property was at the frontier of conflict between Indigenous people and European settlers over land use and has now been restored and adapted as a living showcase of contemporary Indigenous art and modern Australian ceramics. At the heart of this project are our unique clients with exceptional respect and curiosity for the history of the house and the stories held within its walls, balanced with exquisite personal style and eye for detail. We enjoyed every moment of working closely with our clients, along with a tight-knit team including heritage consultant, builder, and an array of traditional craftspeople.”
In the owners’ words, “We now have a comfortable, lighthouse that is a delight to live in. It respects its past, has maintained its character, and is prepared for its future”. Hollow Tree House has peeled back layers from the past, revealing a glorious historical artefact sitting in the isolation of Tasmania’s central highlands.
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