4th level 1976-converted 86 square metre apartment


City of Hobart, Tasmania.

design challenges

Unworkable floor plan, dark spaces, limited by existing position of services.


  • transform the space into a stylish and relaxed apartment.
  • take advantage of expansive views of river and adjacent heritage buildings.
  • radically alter the existing balance of living and utility space.

design solution

My clients purchased this apartment based on its stunning views of the River Derwent and its central location in Battery Point.  They engaged me to solve all of its myriad problems: this one bedroom apartment had one of the worst floor plans I'd ever seen!

It had a large laundry, a huge bathroom and a long hallway but all other rooms were severely compromised.  For example, there was not enough room in the bedroom to fit a Queen sized bed; there was no room for a dining table anywhere; and the kitchen, while managing to take up a lot space, featured a layout that saw both the fridge and dishwasher doors hitting adjacent walls when open making it impossible to move around them. 

The original front and rear balconies had been enclosed with aluminium framed windows that didn't match any other windows in the building. This meant the views, which were excellent in both directions, were mostly blocked by window frames and awful curtains.  It was also physically uncomfortable because there was no insulation installed anywhere in the apartment, despite it being located in an exposed location at the end of the top level of the building.

The brief was to transform the space into a stylish and relaxed apartment that took advantage of the expansive river views to the east and heritage buildings to the west.  

All interior walls were removed and the floor plan rearranged to maximise space in the living area and bedroom.  Wet areas were cleverly designed to minimise the space they consumed, maximise storage, and to maximise light and outlook through the apartment. 

Large sliding glass and timber doors were installed that, when fully opened, allowed a very open space, yet when closed could add privacy when required. 

The use of recycled timber for the kitchen flooring and the cladding of the bathroom tied in with the timber of the sliding doors and loose furniture.  This, combined with stone tiling in the bathroom and balcony, wool carpets and linen and cotton curtains, added a tactile palette of natural materials to space.

Installation of exterior wall and ceiling insulation, double glazing and heavy curtains with pelmets resulted in the apartment not requiring mechanical cooling and rarely needing heating.  Energy efficient appliances, LED lighting, and much improved day-lighting mean the apartment now consumes only fraction of the energy previously required.