Charles Sandford

Mosspennoch House, East Melbourne.

This grand old house in East Melbourne has a long and storied history, dating back to its construction in 1881. But most recently, it's been given a new lease of life by heritage architects Lovell Chen, Built and Ardon Constructions, via its conversion to apartments. Charles Sandford was brought onto the project to craft an extensive range of new timber components, mostly to recreate the original heritage character of the building, but also to provide modern insertions in some areas.

Contemporary timber handrail at Mosspennoch House

A custom timber handrail in one of the contemporary-themed apartments.

Stairways and handrails feature prominently, including a completely new red cedar stairway constructed to match the design of an original stairway that had been removed several decades ago. Elsewhere, contemporary themed apartments feature modern stairways with sinuous, curving handrails.

Contemporary timber stairway at Mosspennoch House

Another view of the contemporary internal stairway.

The photographs here capture the range of timber components we produced for the project, including wall panelling, architraves and door blocks, window seats, skirting boards, top rails and mouldings. It was an interesting project because much of the internal timberwork had been demolished, so a considerable part of our task was to sort through the skip bins of construction site detritus to piece these elements back together, identify what was missing and craft matching timber components to fill the gaps. It required some detective work, and then many weeks of careful timber crafting, but the end result is a beautiful old heritage building restored to its former glory, and with updated amenity to match the needs of twenty-first-century Melbourne.

Painted timber heritage window seat at Mosspennoch House

Window seats like this one were recreated from original remnants, using historical photographs as reference.

Heritage timber window seat at Mosspennoch House

The window ledge and all elements below it here are brand new.

Heritage timber windows in a curved wall at Mosspennoch House

We produced the architraves and door blocks for these windows. Making sure the top architrave follow the same curve as the wall was a laborious process. (As Charlie noted, that's why they don't make new ones like this any more!)

Heritage timber doors, architraves and panelling at Mosspennoch House

Existing doors, new architraves and partially new panelling. Can you spot the difference?

New skirting boards and toprails, and a mic of old and new mouldings.

Another mix of new and old – we made the skirting boards, toprails and some of the mouldings.

Photographed by Hin Lim.