Holy House, a stunning home in Rangeville, just a short drive from Toowoomba city centre, started life as a church hall.
Given the building’s unprepossessing facade and decidedly un-residential interior, William Todd, Director of WJT Builders, knew converting it into a stylish home would require meticulous planning at the design phase. Not just that, the finishes would need to be selected with care and a precise eye for detail employed from design right through to construction to ensure a cohesive, well-executed renovation.
“The original building, which sits below street level, was positioned close to the front of the block, towards the western boundary. While being close to the western boundary enabled eastern-side living and outdoor living, consideration had to be given to maximising the use of the front yard. Thanks to clever design, and the use of a block wall, the front yard is now a private, north-facing courtyard,” explains William.
“To ensure the new streetscape would be appealing, we chose products with different textures and finishes for the front of the garage and home,” he continues. “The front facade of the garage was clad in a spotted gum shiplap board, run vertically, while the rest of the house was clad in horizontally-laid Stria. The entry footpath features a grand, highly angular iron arbour. Jasmine grows around the steel stringers placed to one side and once fully established will act as a leafy green waterfall as you enter the home.”
The front courtyard adjoins the kitchen and is linked by large bifold doors which foster an easy indoor-outdoor flow. There is also an adjacent full-sized set of louvres to enable airflow without the need to open the doors. In addition to the courtyard, there is a large patio behind the living room.
“The clients wanted the home to be on one level and for the open-plan living area to flow seamlessly to the wide hallways, bedrooms and two generous outdoor entertaining areas,” says William. “Passive design principles were also kept in mind when drafting the floor plan. With bedrooms off only one side of the hallway and large sliding doors on the other, the design takes advantage of natural airflow and maintains a comfortable temperature range, reducing the need for auxiliary cooling. However, ducted heating and cooling was installed, mainly to assist with Toowoomba’s brisk winter weather.”
The renovation design was based around the existing structure, which was a fairly basic square with minimal internal walls, and subtle reminders of the original building remain. One example is the brick feature wall in the large butler’s pantry positioned behind the kitchen. Other legacies are the high ceilings and timber floor boards; the latter complemented by a striking black and white colour scheme softened with spotted gum timber accents to add a little warmth and soul.
Of modern design, the renovated home is a testament to innovation, both in the use of space and materials. “Instead of opting for a new build, we were able to come up with an aesthetically pleasing, cost-effective way to transform the exterior of the existing building,” says William. “We used timber, black steel and blockwork to create texture and interest. The timber softens the harsh elements of the blockwork and steel and the three materials complement each other beautifully.”
Thanks to William’s attention to detail, construction expertise and design-enhancing suggestions throughout the build, the end result speaks for itself.
For more information: