Bishopscourt was the home of the Anglican Bishop of Hobart for more than 100 years. Henry Hunter designed the earliest part of the house and the massive Federation extension is by George Fagg. Included as part of later works was a separate brick schoolhouse. It was the beginning of Collegiate School, and one of its earliest pupils was Bernard ‘Monty’ Montgomery, of El-Alamein fame. The basic design question was how to create a large extension that did not visually overwhelm the old schoolhouse, as well as being completely private and separate from the family’s adjacent garden area. The extensions are hidden behind a vertical wooden fence, which acts to create an enclosure to the family garden to the north. The larger and higher of the two units backs onto an existing boundary hedge, which also determined the overall maximum height, as it was important that the new units were virtually invisible from the street. All the new buildings are clad in vertical western red cedar tongue and groove boards, which have been sealed by lightly charring the timber, a traditional Japanese process. This makes the new buildings recede into the background as much as is possible, leaving the historic schoolhouse as the dominant building.
Circa Morris Nunn
Structural consultant – Matt Webster, Aldanmark
Planner – Kate Loveday
Photographer – Matt Sansom
Dermot Crean – Owner/Builder