Lilyfield Warehouse

Lilyfield, NSW
Virgina Kerridge Architects
Year Built
Warehouse Restoration
More Info
This project involved the creative adaptation of a rendered brick industrial warehouse building to a family home. The original building was built in the 1900s, and had formerly been used as a furniture warehouse and before that, the “Oh Boy Candy Company” warehouse.

Warehouse living had been a dream of our clients’ for many years, so the opportunity to acquire a large old warehouse was not missed after years of looking in Sydney’s inner west. For the builder, architect and engineer the task of converting the warehouse was constantly complicated due to the inevitable discovery of unforeseeable existing structural issues. These of course added to the cost but on completion the client is overjoyed with their dream home.

The architect’s design called for the removal of many of the existing supporting walls leading to significant remedial strengthening measures to be undertaken. This included bolting steel whalers to walls and temporary steel support structures to the street front to ensure the public and worker safety.

The design also required extensive excavation alongside boundary walls to facilitate large garden areas. The heart of the design is the central garden which is visible from most areas of the house, a space which allows the building to breathe. The proportions of the main garden area are based on the golden mean while the existing structure provides a strong framework and rhythm. These indoor gardens were essential elements in making the internal spaces of the building more inviting and liveable. Unfortunately the excavation revealed many sections of walls were not founded properly on rock so required extensive brick underpinning and concrete works were required to stabilise masonry walls.

In addition to affecting the structural integrity of the building’s fabric the architect’s design created water problems for the downhill adjoining warehouse. By permanently removing a large section of the roof to provide natural light to the internal spaces rain was allowed to fall onto garden areas and party boundary walls were then subject to large amounts of water flow. These existing walls had no membrane to prevent water travelling through the old wall into the lower level property adjoining. Therefore extensive shotcreting, membrane tanking and drainage works were implemented.

The use of form ply and simple hoop pine wall cladding as a joinery materials complemented the warehouse feel and provided somewhat of a relief from budget pressures created by earlier remedial structural work costs.

Sandlik were construction managers on the project as well as builders. Constant updating of budgets and cost forecasts were essential in maintaining the client in an informed position and provided comfort to the lending bank that costs were not likely to exceed lending approvals. The final cost came in under Sandlik’s revised budget forecast issued some 10 months out from completion.