A Considered Preservation – Hender by Williams Burton Leopardi
North Adelaide, SA, Australia

Photography Caroline Cameron
Words Bronwyn Marshall

Through a focus on the experience of the home and heightening of crafted elements throughout, Hender emerges as a light-filled and purposed series of insertions. Williams Burton Leopardi carves key connections between inside and out, finely framed and curated, as the existing heritage elements are given a new life, while preserving and celebrating its storied past.

Extending the previous Victorian-era cottage detailing, Hender is the story of preservation over expansion. Opting to maintain the existing proportions and finely tune a light-filled volume to the rear, the new works take a non-traditional path in the restraint in scale achieved and a turned focus to quality over quantity. Set in North Adelaide amongst similar era homes, the original cottage was in need of repair and a series of resulting iterations were explored as a result. While the temptation to expand upward and utilise as much potential floor space as possible was examined, the continuation of charm and original character of the home eventually won out. Williams Burton Leopardi takes on a highly crafted approach in adopting the original scale of the home to suit a contemporary liveability, while continuing a legacy.

Light and muted timber wraps the integrated joinery, and flows on into the kitchen area, topped with delicately veined stone.

Built by Bower Construction and Design, together with Gap Joinery, Hender features elements of compression and relief, emphasising changes in scale through subtle shifts. Interestingly, and uniquely of its time, the front room of the home opens up through original timber and glass doors to its own courtyard garden space, delineating from the backyard as the main garden space to convene. Maintaining this element was key and aided in the continuing of the home’s own story, while it opens and flows into the newer interventions. Due to the scale of the home as a whole, and in a bid to increase the open feel and connectivity, flow and a light-inspired palette are both emphasised and utilised throughout.

Passing down a light-filled corridor, bookended with steel and glass doors, an overhead skylight brings in a natural illumination, emphasising the connection. The combined kitchen and dining space sit on the rear end of an extended living area, divided by a shared joinery wall. Light and muted timber wraps the integrated joinery and flows on into the kitchen area, topped with delicately veined stone. Jutting out into the curated garden is the custom sink moment, allowing an abundance of natural light in while increasing visibility to the natural elements surrounding the home. The small and considered rear yard then acts as a formal representation in garden form, where an arrangement of elements have been framed by deliberate openings.

Due to the scale of the home as a whole, and in a bid to increase the open feel and connectivity, flow and a light-inspired palette are both emphasised and utilised throughout.

Embracing its own inner-urban calm, Hender typifies Williams Burton Leopardi’s argument for restraint and maintaining original heritage proportions, playing its own integral part in preserving history.

Published 31 July, 2021
Photography  Caroline Cameron
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