Esplanade Hotel, St. Kilda Sympathetic Renovations

espy

The iconic Esplanade Hotel on the esplanade in St. Kilda, Melbourne (the Espy) was closed for three years for renovations under new owners hospitality group Sand Hill Road. The extensive restoration included three live music stages, 12 bars and two restaurants.

“The Gershwhin Room is the MCG of music for a lot of people, it’s really hallowed turf,” Mr Maskiell of Sand Hill Road group said “To not have one of the best band rooms and best music and arts hotels in Melbourne operating has been a real shame. To have new life in it, to have it up and about and up on its toes, I think it is symbolic of a really bright future in the area.”

The attention to detail through the restoration the team have brought to the beloved hotel is breathtaking.

Espy bar

The vision was to renovate the venue so it offered a diverse range of entertainment venues, from the old public bar to high end cocktail bars and restaurants.

Lined with 1980s Espy band posters, the public bar has retained its grungy feel and will host up-and-coming bands, keeping the Melbourne music scene alive.

A glass retractable ceiling in the main bar’s foyer shows off the hotel’s original 1878 building, which sits behind a facade built in the 1920s. Mr Maskiell said the group retained the historic parts of the hotel, restoring anything that was original, while replicating any that weren’t, keeping the same old-world feel. It is fascinating to see the beautiful decorative mouldings retained or restored from the original building. The fine detail and highly decorative designs hark to another time.

The upstairs level that was previously derelict now boasts a Cantonese restaurant and cocktail bars.

espy cocktail bar.jpg

‘The Ghost of Alfred Felton” cocktail bar on the top floor, is inspired by resident Alfred Felton who bequeathed his large fortune to the National Gallery of Victoria in 1904, elevating it to a buying league of international museums it would never again emulate.

The room features a 100-year-old bar and is adorned with art and antiques scoured from around the world to restore his old rooms to their former glory.

espy staircase

 

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Finishing Touch Projects For January 2019

1 devorgilla toorak

January 2019 has got off to a good start with some great projects being completed. The Finishing Touch moved premises late last year to Canterbury Road, Kilsyth and are pleased to have produced the high quality decorative mouldings they are known for on projects in Balwyn and Lower Plenty this year. Details of their lightweight, exterior mouldings supplied for each project are below:

A French provincial, two storey, fifty five square home at 16 Bevan Street, Balwyn boasts 79.2 metres of French provincial eave moulds, model # PE8200, sized 195mm x 155mm, 91.2 metres of French provincial parapets, model # P8250, sized 250mm x 195mm, 86.4 metres of French provincial stringer, model # P8120, sized 120mm x 90mm and 98.4 metres of quoining panels, model # Q300, sized 320mm x 30mm. Eleven windows are decorated with 67.2 metres of French provincial window architraves, model # W1100, sized 100mm x 45mm with keystones above each of the windows. Decorative mouldings were supplied and finished with DAP Touch’n’Seal adhesive system.

A two storey “The Hamptons” style house of 40 squares in Lower Plenty was finished with 31.2 metres of parapet, model # P8155, sized 155mm x 120mm and 70 metres of parapet, model # P8120, sized 120mm x 90mm. Two large, feature windows were decorated with three metres of window sill, model # WS15, sized 130mm x 65mm and 16.8 metres of window architrave, using flatband, model # DGB1003, sized 100mm x 30mm.

Another project, currently being developed, is for a post-modern, two storey, fifty square house in Essendon. It will require 33.26 metres of parapet, model # P29, sized 155mm x 65mm, 54 metres of stringer, model # M22, sized 100mm x 45mm. Nineteen windows will be enhanced with 163 metres of architrave, model # M1, sized 110mm x 30mm and 46 metres of window sill, model # WS5R2, sized 133mm x 91mm.

Exterior House Design Trends 2019

2019 colours attr Hebel

As Christmas 2018 is upon is it is timely to look at trends for house exteriors in the New Year. Exterior colours will be dark and bold, such as shades of charcoal, black, dark blue, dark green and dark red in combinations of primary and accent colours, creating a dramatic effect. Matte black is growing in popularity for exteriors, interiors and even for homewares. The classic white exterior with black trim is another colour trend gaining traction and be ready for the neutral shades too, greys and blues convey warmth and comfort.

During 2019 you will see more combinations of textures and finishes creating a contrast. The image of a home designed by Solar Solutions Design below captures the effect of combining materials.  Stone, cement and timber can be used together for a visually striking mishmash.

2019 textures atr Hebel

Outdoor living spaces have dominated consumer interest as homeowners seek more lavish, useable adjuncts to home interiors. Outdoor amenities such as kitchens with covered roofs, designer outdoor furniture, portable heaters and fire pits will grow in popularity. Designing spaces to allow for year round outside living will be a trend in 2019.

Added to this is the effect of a growing focus on physical and spiritual wellness. In the coming year outdoor dining and living areas will be integrated with meditation areas, zen gardens and peaceful water features, creating a feeling of peace and well-being.

Another strong trend is a distinct shift towards sustainability that is being felt across the industry. Materials, design, heating, cooling – all aspects of house building will be considered through the lens of environmental concerns and sustainability.

The Finishing Touch wish all their clients and followers a very happy Christmas and look forward to continuing to supply top quality decorative mouldings to quality home builds in 2019.

Images attributed to Hebel.

Decorative Mouldings Create a Fine Finish

Bulleen

A two storey, post-modern, sixty square property in McCubbin Street, Kew has been handsomely finished with the addition of 180 metres of parapet moulding, model # P8200, sized 200mm x 155mm, 180 metres of stringer parapet situated 400mm below, model # P8155, sized 155mm x 120mm with the twenty one windows being decorated with 172 metres of window architrave, model # W1100, sized 100mm x 45mm and 48.6 metres of window sills, model # WSR15, sized 135mm x 185mm supplied by the Finishing Touch.

Under construction in Donvale four two storey units in the post-modern style, each 20 squares, require decorative mouldings to enhance the exterior. The unit on the streetscape requires 14.4 metres of parapet, model # P8200, sized 200mm x 155m, the other three units require 64.8 metres of parapet moulding, model # P8155, sized 155mm x 120mm, 79.2 metres of stringer for all the u nits, model S1R4, sized 90mm x 70mm, 256 metres window architraves, model # W1100, sized 100mm x 45mm and 48 metres window sills, model # WSR15, sized 135mm x 185mm.

The Finishing Touch have begun installing decorative mouldings on two post-modern, two storey units (dual occupancy) in Murrumbeena, 50 squares in total, 25 squares each unit. These are separate dwellings separated by a pathway. Being installed are 55.2 metres of parapet, model # P8250, sized 250mm x 195mm, 55.4 metres flatband as stringer, model # M120, sized 120mm x 30mm and 105 metres window architraves used in a picture frame method using flatband, model # DGB075, 75mm x 20mm.

Boyd Baker House Australia’s Most Important Post War Building

Boydbaker house 1

Dr Michael Baker, a mathematician, demanded very particular mathematical and geometric rules. He had discovered the area of Long Forest near Bacchus Marsh, which was dense, untouched bush at the time. He commissioned Robin Boyd to build his home there in 1966. Both men were visionaries and the resulting property Boyd Baker House has been called ‘One of Australia’s most important Post War buildings’ by Melbourne University’s Professor of Architecture, Mr Phillip Goad. Robin Boyd is one of the foremost proponents of the ‘International Modern Movement’ in Australian Architecture. Dr Baker said “For Robin Boyd it was not just another project. He treated it as a masterpiece”.

Robin’s book ‘The Australian Ugliness’, published in 1960, is a critique of Australian Architecture in suburbia and the lack of a uniform architectural goal. He is the younger son of painter Penleigh Boyd and first cousin of the renowned Australian painter, Arthur Boyd. Dr. Baker was before his time, demanding a plan of the house prior to approving the build.

Boydbaker house plans

Michael Baker decided against a large English garden, saying “The flora and fauna of the bush are tied up together, they cannot be separated and each relies upon the other.  The koalas, possums, bull ants species, many small birds and the wallabies all rely on the delicate, struggling foliage of the mally trees and their under story for survival.  The relationship is age old, delicate and all too important to upset.” Thus trees that obstructed the views were never cleared with the house being the only manmade thing to disturb the calm of the bush.

Boydbaker house with trees

The roof became a low pyramid, 27.5 metres square over symmetrically curved stone walls linked by straight window walls.  The water tanks became stone cylinders supporting the edge of the roof.  Service rooms and children’s sleeping cubicles formed an inner ring around the court. The stone was quarried locally in Bacchus Marsh, floors were polished concrete and the roof was thatched.

Boydbaker house ext

In 1967 Rosemary and Michael Baker’s family had expanded to five children, all being home schooled, so they decided that they needed another house. Robin Boyd was once again commissioned as architect for the new dwelling, called the Boyd Dower House. By then the local quarry in Bacchus Marsh had closed down and Dr Baker started quarrying sandstone on site. He tells a story that he and his family and friends would busily quarry the stone by hand and cart it up the huge hill towards the Dower House ready for the builders to turn up on Monday.

Boydbaker house lounge

Art Deco Style Burnham Beeches

Art Deco Burnham Beeches

Located adjacent to Sherbrooke Forest in the Dandenong Ranges outside Melbourne is the well known 22.5 hectare property, Burnham Beeches. This magnificent Art Deco mansion, known as the Norris building, was designed by Harry Norris and built in 1933 for the Nicholas family.

A rare, elaborate example of its type in Australia, it is comparable with works in Britain and the United States The vast three storey house is built in reinforced concrete and surrounded by significant gardens containing a mix of indigenous and exotic plantings designed by Hugh Linaker.

Art Deco Norris Bldg 3

The original concept, with substantial outbuildings, was a self-sustaining estate. Architect Harry Norris was a prominent Melbourne Architect at the time who designed many iconic buildings. The property is classified by the National Trust and is Heritage listed.

By 1965 a large proportion of the landscaped gardens became too difficult to maintain, so the lake along with 32 acres of garden was donated to the Shire of Sherbrooke (now the Yarra Ranges Shire Council) and named the Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens, open to the public. Three acres at the front of the property became a miniature village in the early 1970s and has since been transferred to Parks Victoria.

Celebrity chef Shannon Bennett and developer Adam Garrison now own the property and have applied to redevelop the estate, hoping to bring it back to its original purpose and to become a tourist attraction. The proposed removal of about 13 beech trees at the entrance met with local protests and have recently been saved, with approval being given for the development of the site but not the removal of the trees. Plans include the restoration of the Norris building to become a six-star hotel and the addition of a microbrewery, shop and new restaurant inside the existing Piggery Cafe.

Art deco Norris bldg

The decorative mouldings that create a handsome and sleek finish to the art deco style in the Norris building were originally made of concrete. These days the Finishing Touch can supply art deco decorative mouldings in a lightweight material that is easy to transport and install, making it a very viable option for a modern build, capturing the elegance of the art deco period.

Toorak Apartments to Look Like a French Provincial House

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Architectural decorative mouldings can turn a plain building into a glamorous, elegant or sophisticated building. A project the Finishing Touch currently have under development in Toorak will make extensive use of decorative mouldings to make an apartment block look like a large French provincial home (example of a French provincial home above). The building is on three levels. The lightweight, easy to install decorative mouldings by the Finishing Touch required for the top and second floors are:

82 metres of French provincial eave mouldings, custom designed as per the Architect’s request, sized at 410mm x 376mm. 340 French provincial corbels will be attached to the eave mouldings, also custom designed and measuring 210mm x 85mm x 80mm.  Two different sizes of custom designed parapets will be used, 86 metres sized at 265mm x 60mm and 173 metres sized at 150mm x 40mm.

Further decorative finishes are created with the addition of 65 metres of French provincial stringer moulds, custom designed, sized 100mm x 60mm, 24 metres of custom designed French provincial flatband, sized 250mm x 30mm and 96 metres French provincial quoining, model # Q300, sized 320mm x 30mm. the windows will be decorated with 196 metres custom designed French provincial flatbands for the architraves, sized at 150mm x20mm and 18 keystones.

On the ground floor a large corbel will feature, 720mm high x 900mm deep x 200mm wide as well as 9 balusters, 660 mm high. Further decorative finishes will be created by 120 metres of quoining, model # Q300, sized 320mm x 30mm with 124 metres of custom designed flatbands for architraves, sized 150mm x 20mm and 13 keystones decorating the windows. The fencing will be elegantly finished with 4 Edwardian pier caps and 12 sections of fence capping, 240mm wide.