President’s Award for Recycled Buildings

This is an article from the Architecture Australia archives and may use outdated formatting

A 1903 derelict warehouse has been converted to a residence above and office below. The existing building and location (and budget) were the main prompts for the design. Open plan space, industrial material and structure, and ninety-three years of aging were great prompts to work with. A limited budget made the most of the decisions. The challenge was to create uplifting, contemporary spaces without compromising the unique building fabric. Insertions were carefully considered to avoid restricting possibilities for future owners and inhabitants. New structure is simple, expressed and easy to construct. Materials demonstrate their inherent qualities and lack of cosmetic finishes. It has cost $60,000. The owner, client and builder were the same person.

The Marshall Residence, in a back lane in Darlinghurst, Sydney, sits easily with the criteria for this award - it is indubitably "recycled", "refurbished", "reconstructed" and "renovated", and it is an inventive demonstration of new uses for old. The nearly century-old building began life as a carriage-maker’s workshop and was a derelict warehouse when purchased for use as an architect’s studio at street level with house above. These new functions were inserted with deliberate minimum interference to the original structure; all that could be kept of the building has been kept and all new work or insertions have been made easy to read (anastylosis) and easy to recycle. The main insertions were a slab to the ground floor studio areas, and a corner stair leading to the open plan house level and on to the sleeping loft, bathroom, laundry and roof deck above. Materials were recycled wherever possible and robust when not, with standard hardware fixings used wherever possible. Services are expressed to allow for future alteration. The fabric, space and handsome patina of the building has thus been carefully preserved, or minimally modified, with the objective being to leave the building able to be reinterpreted by future owners.

Marshall Residence
Project Architect, Design Architect, Project Manager Sam Marshall. Project Team Drew Heath. Structural Consultant Taylor Thompson Whitting. Builder Sam Marshall, Drew Heath. Original Architect Unknown. Photography Patrick Bingham-Hall, Brett Boardman.



Published online: 1 Nov 2000


Architecture Australia, November 2000

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