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   -   National Australian Institute of Architects Award for Heritage Architecture
   -   The Australian Institute of Architects John George Knight Award for Heritage (VIC)

Harold Desbrowe Annear's Chadwick House.Stage 1
by Peter Crone Architects



Chadwick house designed by Harold Desbrowe Annear in 1903, is the central house in a group of three designed by Annear, all of which benefit from Heritage Victoria registration, as well as National Trust classification. Purchased by my wife and I in 1988, with an appreciation of its architectural,social and historical importance and with a considerable mortgage, we embarked upon its restoration,with the majority of the work being carried out by ourselves ,except for contracting the electrical rewiring and plumbing works along with the manufacturing of specialised components. Initially our first task was to prove the local council heritage study was incorrect in asserting that the original house coloring was "black and white", as an early observation of flaking paint on the roughcast render indicated a strong colour beneath.Further investigation of scrapings revealed a rich colour palette throughout the building exterior.Local Council planning approval was obtained to paint the house in its true colours.The other two houses have been found to share the same palette.Heritage Victoria is currently re-writing our Statement of Cultural Heritage Significance to take this into account. Our first project was to restore the vandalised main Living Room area.The original sequoia timber paneling,window brackets and fireplace surround and overmantle had been removed.Timber fragments found beneath the house assisted in gaining an understanding of Annear's original detailing. No original drawings of the house have been discovered. Additionally, a considerable amount of gloss paint was stripped from all windows,doors and architraves as well as from paneling within the Entrance

Hall.This project occupied 18 months of evenings and weekends. Subsequent work on the external skin of the house involved replacing 15 original window sashes where various inappropriate windows had been installed. Investigation within the roof spaces identified the locations within which the window sashes slid between the studwork via a system of pulleys,sash cords and brick counterweights.Custom made cast brass fittings were reproduced to match Annear's original designs. Great care has been taken to recreate the original house,at the same time adhering to the principles of the Burra Charter with new work subtly identifiable from original.In the re-establishment of the original bathroom and kitchen, the wall and ceiling linings have been restored, and the fit out items which provide us with the amenity of contemporary living have been designed that they may be upgraded in the future without damaging the original fabric. Within the pantry area which had been converted into a toilet the subsequent removal of the masonite wall lining revealed unpainted sections of original lining which provided a guide to re-installing the shelving to the original profile and in the original locations. The original breakfast room and the former maid's room required substantial demolition of added layers of wall linings including hard plaster render on expanded wire mesh laid over the existing baltic wall linings as a base for ceramic tiles. With stage one completed,we are starting to address the removal of the inappropriate billiard room addition at the rear.Meanwhile considerable ongoing maintenance ensures that the vision of Annear is preserved for future generations to experience and enjoy.

Peter Crone Architects
Contact address:
Project Team
Design architect: Peter Crone
Design architect: Peter Crone
Builder: Peter Crone
Original architect: Harold Desbrowe Annear
Photographer: Patrick Bingham-Hall
Photographer: Peter Crone
Photographer: Patrick Bingham-hall
Photographer: Peter Bennetts

Photographs by Patrick Bingham-Hall, Peter Crone, Patrick Bingham-hall & Peter Bennetts, text by Peter Crone Architects

Link directly to this award entry: is the website of The Royal Australian Institute of Architects