Living with heritage
Living in the stables
In the late 1990s, land subdivision at Yeronga changed the surroundings of heritage-listed Rhyndarra, a two-storey mansion that had variously served as a grand house, an orphanage and the officers’ mess of First Military Hospital.
The original stables were retained on one block, across from the house.
“It was pretty derelict but I could see potential to adaptively re-use and turn into my family home,” says owner Ruth Woods, a heritage architect who is also a former member of the Queensland Heritage Council.
Before even signing the contract to purchase, Ruth contacted the state government department responsible for heritage to ask what could be done.
She was told that the view line between the Stables and Rhyndarra needed to be retained.
Original openings—windows and doors—also had to be kept in place.
Ruth gained approval for her renovation. The result is a highly liveable family home. Two bedrooms occupy the upper loft area. A bedroom, ensuite, office and family room occupy the ground floor. A single storey addition to the south provides bathroom, laundry, kitchen, dining and living space.
“Being a part of the place’s history—keeping it going—is very special. I particularly enjoy the texture of the materials like the brick,” she says of the original walls, stripped of their whitewash to reveal their true warm earthy tones.
Ruth’s adaptation has won her architectural heritage conservation awards.