Friday, October 30, 2009

The School House





One of my most re-read books is Paul Bangay's "The Enchanted Garden" about the building of his garden and renovation of the old school house at St Ambrose Farm, Woodend. Paul Bangay is one of Australia's most successful and talented garden designers and his gardens can be seen all over the world from East Hampton to St Tropez to the Caribbean.

Paul has sold St Ambrose Farm this month and has bought another property nearby in the Mt Macedon area of Victoria called Stonefields where he is creating a new garden in a more open, rural setting.

It is serendipity that just as St Ambrose has sold, I have my own school house project approved by the authorities and ready to go. My husband Rob and I have wanted to extend our old farmhouse at Sky Meadow since we moved in nearly 5 years ago. As it is heritage listed, we are obliged to build a separate pavilion and we secretly wished we could find an old church hall or school house to move to the property instead of building a new wing. Well, totally unexpectedly, an old school hall found us. It was going to be demolished to make way for a new building which was such a waste so we offered to recycle it!

The school house is a timber weatherboard-clad building which is almost a perfect match for the age, scale and materials of our house. It is going to be moved sometime in the next couple of months on the back of a giant truck and will become our living and kitchen wing. There are really two buildings and they will need some work once they arrive, but will end up with a screened porch, kitchen with scullery, laundry plus living and dining area.

11 comments:

  1. What beautiful pictures!! Definitely looks like a must-read.

    ReplyDelete
  2. As soon as I saw the thumb nail photo on my blog roll I rushed over to read your post. I love Paul Bangay too. You must be so excited about the arrival of your new buildings. Hope it all goes smoothly for you!
    Ange

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh this sounds so wonderful and so much better than if you had to build something new.

    Please post pictures when it is all done and set :)

    xo,
    Crystal

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have had a love affair with this property since I first saw the images publish. I have never seen that arial shot though thanks for posting it!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Isn't it amazing? He has obviously done huge renos on the house since the book.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I was only just stalking Paul Bangay's site for inspiration today. I have a blank canvas that is my pool area just crying out for pots and greenery. His website was my first port of call. Your recycle project sounds SOOOO exciting... best of luck with the hall move! A-M xx

    ReplyDelete
  7. So beautiful. good luck with your plans cheers katherine

    ReplyDelete
  8. Can't wait to see what Paul does with his next home
    Alison

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Catherine...from one renovating nut to another, I can so admire all the hard work, love & energy which goes into just the planning of a renovation, let alone the building side I love your blog & think its wonderful & will be back many times to be inspired...

    Cate

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a fabulously exciting project. I can't wait to read about it as it happens. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete