How the Carringbush Hotel transformed its floor into an elegant home
The frosted-glass front door to their rigorously refined one-bedroom house is one of Victoria’s most culturally charged tribal portals.
It opens onto the back room on the ground floor of an 1889 Abbotsford pub which, until the mid-2000s, served as club rooms for Collingwood Football Club.
Even more history is embedded in the cornerstone walls of the Carringbush Hotel, a building wedged against a railway viaduct and cited as being historically significant for its “connections to the social fabric of the region.”
This is the Carringbush that cites Frank Hardy’s fictitious name for Collingwood in his 1950s novel, Power without glory, and it continues as a public house that now specializes in vegan food: “Damned fine pub serving a sustainable attitude.”
It is such an impressive renaissance renaissance structure that has been so beautifully and recently whitewashed. Yet he presides over a neighborhood that in the late 1900s was so poor that some of the small houses had dirt floors.
The reason for this important presence is that it started as the Friendly Societies hotel and provided social and financial support to members facing difficulties in supporting themselves and their families.
Over the past year and at the request of new owners who had sold their Richmond warehouse conversion because it was affected by new developments, the Carringbush floor was reclaimed from sticky mat status as a rooming house crowded and converted to an elegant style. sparse house with one of the most public bathrooms imaginable.
“Quite public”, admits Mark Simpson, of the design office, who says that by creating the suite of bedroom, bathroom and a “huge wardrobe” high priority for a couple in the sector of the fashion, “finding the right relationship between these pieces was the only difficult part of” the architectural modification “.
“We went through about 10 different iterations,” he says.
The variation that now gives the bath a 2.5 meter x 3.5 meter window onto the gritty urbanity of a rail corridor – “they wanted perspectives”, of course allows for reciprocal views. Simpson says “someone reached out to the pub once to say, ‘Hey, do you know we can see in’! ‘.
The front plans of the conversion show a typical hotel hallway through the doors of many small rooms. The side effect of the process which removed the original staircase and most of the substance from the hallway wall to make it into a large living room which still had ‘a rhythm to its openings so that the presence of the building remained readable », Allows a wide space sunlight that keeps the deep cornices and sanded Baltic pine floors.
“The trust mandate,” says Simpson, “was to create a truly formidable set of positive living spaces open to the light. They wanted it to be classic, elegant and inventive. “
And so, with “a simple palette that is not black and white but subtle shifts in soft and harmonious tones of carefully selected greens, grays and off-white” (the elegant); with the clarified spatiality and ‘seeing through the spaces beyond’ (the classic), and with the inventive in the form of a radical new staircase-like-sculpture, an old pub has become a very individual home.
The biggest structural and heritage decision was to remove the stairs and fabricate eight-millimeter steel, covered in dark brown automotive paint, “introducing a deliberately contemporary staircase” that rises under a curved arch from 1889.
Having everything upstairs as the home of a bedroom is not the end of the story of this fascinating conversion. The old club rooms have also acquired a new identity as an open, malleable lobby lounge that can be used for fashion shows or to host visiting international associates.
What makes the duality possible is a nimble piece of carpentry along a wall that contains a fold-down bed, a mini-kitchenette that can be concealed by a sliding wood panel, and the door to a mini-room. bath.
In a 20-square-meter room that retains the Victorian dado and marble fireplace that countless Collingwood backgrounds would have known, Mark Simpson says, “It was the only contemporary insert and it conceals all of those functions.”
In the working ad, the behind-the-scenes changes involved a project Simpson describes as “putting a puzzle together to create simple spaces with moments of fun.”