Restoring and updating a significant Victorian home would spark trepidation in many. So much historical context, heritage limitations, and so much at stake. Emma Templeton, principal architect at Templeton Architecture, undertook the extensive renovation of Delatite Station in Mansfield with gusto, driven, in part, by a deeply personal connection to the area.
‘Mansfield is my family’s country getaway destination’ Emma explains. As a familiar visitor to the region, Emma was recommended to the owners of Delatite Station by a mutual friend. The rest is history!
‘Our studio embraces the opportunity to work in rural locations, rejoicing in the luxury of space rarely afforded when working within the city context’ Emma explains. Her team also have a particular passion for projects with heritage significance. Having said that, until this project, they had never before worked with a property quite this grand!
Warmth, light and integration were the key priorities for the renovation. With 14 foot ceilings, the original home was impossible to heat and cool efficiently. Meanwhile, deep verandahs surrounding all sides of the house allowed very little natural to filter into the house.
‘It was ‘morning tea’ when we arrived to undertake the initial measure-up at Delatite. I swear my metal clipboard was frozen to my fingertips’ Emma recalls. ‘The family were gathered around an open fire enjoying a cup of tea. Despite the size of the original dwelling, the family were spending all their waking hours in this single warm room during the winter months!’
The building was stripped back to its pure bones, removing recent ‘tack-on’s’ to reveal original Victorian features. Sinks in the corners of each bedroom were removed and rotten floors replaced. Original details were restored, whilst internal spaces are reconfigured, where necessary, to improve the light and connections between rooms.
Emma and her team also focussed on improving natural light, enclosing one verandah to create a glazed corridor, and adding new windows in key locations to allow light to sink deep into the house, and providing new views out onto that amazing garden!
Every great architectural project is a team effort, and the most important person on the team, invariably, is the client. In this case, with over 100 years of family history invested in this property, Emma’s clients were central to the success of the restoration.
‘We were very fortunate to have clients who were prepared to trust us to balance the rich history of the property and the family’s nostalgia, while delivering a beautiful home that happily accommodates modern family life’ Emma concludes. ‘This delicate balance is something we are very proud of.’