Heatherton House

A Mountain Retreat

Client: Private Client

Location: Blackheath, Blue Mountains

Size: 65 sqm

Typology: Residential

Status: In Progress

We respectfully acknowledge the Darug and the Gundungurra Nations, the traditional custodians of the land on which Heatherton House is built. 

This new addition to a property in Blackheath responds to the heritage significance of the site.

Originally built in 1891 as a holiday house for the Bishop of Bendigo, Heatherton House holds heritage value as an example of a significant Victorian Rustic Gothic residence. Whilst this architectural style is common to the region, it is less commonly seen in private residences, increasing the local significance of the property.

Currently occupied as both a holiday home and rental property, the client wanted to accommodate an overflow of family guests in their mountain retreat. The brief for the addition includes a studio space accommodating up to two adults and two children, with a new bathroom, laundry and garage adjacent. The new garage and studio are to remain in the existing location to maintain the character of the existing site.

On the inside, the challenge to keep within the existing footprint required an exercise in compact planning featuring a bespoke joinery solution that is flexible and highly functional. Included in the joinery is a set of bunk-beds, bag storage, and a day bed that extends the full width of the studio space and into the courtyard where it houses a built-in barbecue. Glazed doors open up to the courtyard providing a revitalised entertaining area for family and guests.

The northerly aspect of the site provided an opportunity to engage in passive design principles. In the studio, openings were limited to the northern façade – except those already existing – maximizing on daylight and natural ventilation as well as providing a visual connection to the main house. Skylights provided natural light to the spaces along the eastern façade where light would be blocked by the neighboring fence line. Natural and locally sourced materials and insulation have also been considered to reduce the carbon footprint of the project.

The connection between old and new was explored through the expression of materiality. In contrast to the white horizontal weatherboards of the existing property, the new structure is wrapped in dark vertical cladding, while the dry-stone wall of the existing garage will be re-built to further preserve the character and history of the site. 

This project is currently under design development.

Responsible Design Principles: Passive Design, Harvesting from the Site, Minimalism, Reduce Waste, Preservation and Regeneration, Resource Efficiency, Design for Longevity, Sustainable Materials,


We are a Sydney-based interior architecture and design studio designing environments for people and place.

Cornerstore Design Studio

ABN 84 362 514 061

1/2 Kensington Street, Waterloo, NSW 2017

​All images and content © Cornerstore Design Studio, 2020


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