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The decorative mouldings that create a handsome and sleek finish to the art deco style in the Norris building were originally made of concrete.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.

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Toorak Apartments to Look Like a French Provincial House

house3

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.

 

Edwardian Decorative Mouldings in Demand

43 Hilda St, Balwyn front

Edwardian pier caps.

Often the Finishing Touch are kept busy supplying French provincial decorative mouldings for the ever popular architectural style. But last week Edwardian pier caps and wall capping seemed to be most in demand.

A builder in Kiama, NSW was supplied with six custom sized Edwardian pier caps. Four were sized at 440mm x 400 mm whilst two were 640mm x 640mm. Another builder was supplied with six Edwardian pier caps, sized 600mm x 600mm and 7.8 metres of Edwardian wall capping, 240mm wide for a build of a post-modern home in Malvern. 120 metres of flatband decorative mouldings, model # DGB075, sized at 75mm x 20mm also lifted the finish for this home.

A house in Evans Road, Kew is being renovated by the owner. Old decorative mouldings on the building from twenty years ago now need replacing. The Finishing Touch supplied 9.6 metres of parapet mouldings, model # P8300, sized at 300mm x 235mm and 36 meters of parapet mouldings, model # P8200, sized at 200mm x 155m. Six custom made Edwardian pier caps, sized 500mm x 500mm and 9.6 metres of custom made Edwardian wall capping, 260mm wide give an elegant finish to fencing, whilst 24 metres of stringer mouldings, model # M22, sized at 100mm x 45mm help decorate the al fresco pool area.

A post-modern, 2 storey house in Keysborough features faux weatherboard panels on the top storey with brickwork underneath. Bricks are rendered immediately below the weatherboard panels and exposed on the bottom section. Flatband decorative mouldings, model # DGB1003, sized 100mm x 30mm were supplied to be used as a stringer at the junction of the rendered brick and exposed brickwork.

An owner/builder needed eight custom designed columns, each 1700 mm high by 450mm diameter together with Doric bases and Tuscan capitals for a home in Reservoir, which will create a splendid façade. Ninety metres of window architraves, model # W19D, sized 120mm x 55mm completes the decorative finish.

Finishing Touch Decorative Mouldings And DAP Adhesive System

Finishing Touch Decorative Mouldings.

Apart from supplying lightweight decorative mouldings for new builds the Finishing Touch are sometimes asked to replace decorative mouldings that have been supplied by other suppliers but have failed.  For example, they were once asked to manufacture and install architectural mouldings for a new home because the exterior mouldings that had been installed were not level and didn’t follow the construction lines of the house, with joins visible and the mouldings not meeting. Corners were broken and the previous repairs were poor and patchy. This unfortunate experience for the owners illustrates why builders should take care in selecting their decorative moulding supplier. This was not an isolated incident, the Finishing Touch have been called upon regularly to replace faulty decorative mouldings on homes.

On another project the Finishing Touch were asked to supply decorative mouldings to match and blend with architectural mouldings already installed during the original build. The Finishing Touch were able to match the mouldings and manufacture decorative mouldings that would blend in and complement those already on the house.

To ensure all builders can have confidence in the adherence of lightweight decorative mouldings on their builds the Finishing Touch are now supplying the DAP Touch’n’Seal system.

It’s the fastest moulding install method available with a drying and full grab time of only 3-5 mins (depending on humidity levels). Compared to most other polyurethane foam based products, which take 10 mins or more to dry, this is a faster system  and has been proven to be reliable, strong and long lasting. The DAP Touch’n’Seal system has proven popular with builders since the Finishing Touch began supplying it directly late last year.. It’s fire rated and can also be used for polystyrene foam cladding walls and as a gap filler around cables and pipes on building sites.

Decorative Mouldings Best Suited To The French Provincial Style

Ever popular, the French provincial style has been adapted in Australia and used in the design of many modern built homes. Pitched rooflines, symmetry, arched windows, tall top storey windows, porticos with substantial balustrades are some of the features of this style. French provincial homes tend to be rather grand: reflecting country manor elegance. Decorative architectural mouldings are very much a part of this elegant style, both interior and exterior.

Melbourne builders, designers and architects value the high quality, lightweight, decorative mouldings that the Finishing Touch supply to complete their French provincial designed houses. These decorative mouldings last, stay put and don’t crack or warp. The Finishing Touch have a range of exterior decorative mouldings that are particularly suited to the French provincial style. They are:

Parapet Decorative Mouldings:

French provincial parapets, model # P4300, size 300mm x 285mm.

French provincial parapet model # P4240, size 240mm x 227mm.

French provincial parapets, model #P4160, size 160mm x 160mm.

Stringer Mouldings:

French provincial stringers, model # S1R4, size 90mm x 70mm

French provincial stringers, model # P8120, size 120mm x 90mm.

Decorative mouldings for Windows:

French provincial window sills, model # WS5, size 130mm x 70mm,

French provincial window sills, model #WSR15, sized 135mm x 185mm.

French provincial window architraves, model #W1100, size 100mm x 45mm.

French provincial window architraves, model # WDG8XY, size 120mm x 50mm.

Arches:

Can be made to fit any size with a variety of styles available.

Eave mouldings:

French provincial eave moulding model #PE8200, sized 195mm x 155mm.

Columns:

Round, square or tapered.

French provincial pier caps

Available in three styles, French, French Modern and Small French.

 

Please contact the Finishing Touch to order decorative mouldings for your next build.

Friday 13th Haunted Houses

Studley Park House Camden NSW

It’s Friday 13th. To get your spook on we are looking at some famous haunted houses. Studley Park House in Camden, was originally built by grazier William Payne in 1889. Although considered haunted, it is a beautiful building, featuring many admirable decorative mouldings. The death of two children has earned the house its haunted reputation. The residence became a boarding college and in 1909 a 14-year-old student, Ray Blackstone, drowned in a dam near the residence. His body is believed to have been kept at the cellar until it was buried. The building was sold soon after and reverted back to a residence. The son of acclaimed business man Arthur Adolphus Gregory died at the house in 1939 from appendicitis and his body was kept in the theatrette.

Spooky disturbances at the house include a hangman’s noose found dangling from a steeple roof by builders renovating in 2010, unexplained lights, sightings of a lady who stands at the window and a photograph of a ghostly young boy in the basement taken by ghost hunters.

Closer to home in Bundoora, on the outskirts of Melbourne, is the old Larundel Mental Asylum, famous in its day for incarcerating a great number of Melburnians suffering mental illness. Closed in 2001, it has been an abandoned building, off limits to the public but has built a reputation for being haunted. This attractive building was one of Melbourne’s three “magnificent asylums for the insane” built in the 1930s and 40s.

Larundal Mental Asylum

Now covered in graffiti the building, since its closure, has been a hangout for ghost hunters, graffiti artists and squatters. There have been reports of loud banging, children’s laughter, crying, and an eerie music box. Serial killer Peter Dupas was treated here, adding to the mystique of the building. Only a few original buildings of the vast complex remain and are soon to be reconstructed into apartments, completing the residential development already constructed on the grounds, which includes a shopping centre.

 

Decorative Columns Made Easy

Columns have long been used not only structurally, but also decoratively, and are associated with grand buildings. The Parthenon is one of the most famous examples of a colonnade of columns that create a grandiose affect to the onlooker’s eye. When columns were made from stone and then concrete they were only constructed in stately buildings, due to the cost and effort.

The Parthenon

The humble residential home was not often decorated with grand columns at the entrance.

There has been a revolution in the construction industry in more recent times with the introduction of decorative mouldings made from a lightweight material.  These lightweight mouldings are easily transported to the building site and simply attached to the building. A far cry from the original mouldings that were mixed onsite and created by craftsmen in decorative designs. Those designs are still available but are pre-moulded and delivered. The most commonly used designs these days are simpler, but if a more complex design is desired, these can be specifically custom designed by the Finishing Touch, suppliers of lightweight decorative mouldings

The Finishing Touch are renowned suppliers of quality decorative mouldings for columns. During the construction stage a thin metal or wooden post is inserted into the building for the columns; the lightweight column mouldings are delivered in two halves and adhered around the post. Columns are available in round, fluted, square and tapered shapes.  Caps, capitals and bases are also supplied by the Finishing Touch in a variety of patterns.

These days many modern homes boast a stunning entrance featuring columns, creating a stately presence on the streetscape.

It is due to the technology of the lightweight mouldings now broadly used by builders to enhance the façade of the residential homes they construct.