Blacksmiths Beach House Backpackers

This was a long collaborative project meta-morphing as the clients negotiated with Council.

The first backpackers for Lake Macquarie. Elvin_coverlogo.jpg

This is a landmark building and was subject to lobbying to make a definition for it in the LEP.

Then, after waiting a year, we saw the new LEP defined many things as suitable for this site including mixed use, childcare and even a brothel, but not a backpackers!

It was submitted as a … Motel. ElvinFrontView.JPG

The backpackers is an adaptive reuse. Originally a hall for the Lapidary Association, then a community hall, and more recently as a performance space, where rock bands tried out the acoustics. Located on the corner of Turea and Mitti Streets, in the centre of the laid back action at Blacksmiths, the owners, the architect and engineer enthusiastically saw the potential. Where else is there convenient food, a post office, and a walk to a patrolled surf beach and a beautiful lake where there is always action?

As much as possible of the existing building has been kept. Unfortunately the boards on the North side where windows were added were found to be too brittle to re-use. To the Eastern side, Council’s insistence on compliance with the strictest interpretation of the Building code meant the boards had to be removed there. In all cases the new work is clearly articulated.

The weight of the asbestos roof meant that the vaulted roof framing of the hall required remedial structural work. GH Consulting managed to detail this with minimal intervention.

The hall had a ramp to the door! Elvin_entrySM.JPG