Bringing Clarity – Hawthorn House by Kennedy Nolan

Words by Bronwyn Marshall
Architecture by Kennedy Nolan
Photography by Derek Swalwell
Interior Design by Kennedy Nolan

In need of a cohesive methodology, Hawthorn House is injected with a series of edits to link the home’s original stylistic intent with its current structure. Through an inquisitive approach, Kennedy Nolan brings a sense of clarity to the differing aesthetics and connects the revised home with a sense of shared purpose.

 The likely story of a heritage home being inherited with numerous iterations over time isn’t new and, in a way, is an expected requisite. In the case of Hawthorn House, the number of iterations and attempts to infuse such strong stylistic intentions was in need of clarity. The home, notably, felt confused and required both a realigning of purpose and a sense of direction in its capture of its history. Originally Victorian, the home resembled additions and alterations that spoke to both the Edwardian and the Arts and Crafts periods – all of which differ in their approach to ornateness and geometric expression. A shared value across all, however, is the engagement with crafts people and an artisanal style. Leveraging this, Kennedy Nolan devised several interventions to bring cohesion and carve a home connected to its occupants, its site and its history.

Leveraging this, Kennedy Nolan devised several interventions to bring cohesion and carve a home connected to its occupants, its site and its history.

Built by ProvanBuilt, Hawthorn House is an exercise in editing and reframing – capturing and revealing true intent and detailing, bringing various eras and chapters of the home together in a considered way. Preservation of the original was key, as was retaining charm and character; the interceptions created by the new needed to unite and not then seem like another trend-inspired addition. Instead, the focus was channelled through a bridging together of elements. All elements, from the formality of planning, joinery, cornice and ceiling details, were preserved as much as was relevant to the bigger picture and integrated into a modern-day home that reflects how we live today.

Open and connected living areas generously embrace the rear yard as an extension of the home, while more formal and separated spaces contain passive activities. Key to the new works were principles of abstraction and transformation. Time wearing materials come together throughout the site, interpreted to express the contributing eras, refined in a shared resolve and as an expression of the handmade. In its vastness, the home and its sheer scale needed binding materiality and formal gestures to ensure it felt connected. A warm and evolving palette of materials unfolds across the structure, with deeper and richer tones reflecting retreat, and lighter finishes encouraging bright and reflective openness within internal spaces.

A warm and evolving palette of materials unfolds across the structure, with deeper and richer tones reflecting retreat, and lighter finishes encouraging bright and reflective openness within internal spaces.

Celebrating refined moments defines the essence of Hawthorn House, while also capturing a past narrative. Kennedy Nolan brings their tried appreciation for storied homes and ensures both a relevance and continued longevity.