When Adelaide-based technology entrepreneur Simon Hackett purchased the property at 64 North Terrace, Kent Town, in 2012, he decided to restore it to its former glory while bringing it aesthetically, structurally and functionally into the 21st century.

“It is such a beautiful property that had been extended and maintained quite haphazardly over the years,” said Simon. “We wanted these renovations to make this an Adelaide landmark building for the next 100 years.”

‘The restoration was led by Williams-Burton Architects in collaboration with Anna Hackett. Sarah Constructions carried out the building work.

The project to reinvigorate the entire site, while maintaining architectural integrity of the oldest buildings, was not for the faint-hearted. After a two-year redevelopment, the restoration project remodelled and integrated all four buildings, transforming them from dowdy neglect to contemporary glory, filled with light, warmth and an invitation to community.

Roofs were replaced. Structurally challenged stone walls were reinforced with steel supports. Repairs to a botched 1980s makeover replaced concrete smeared between bluestone blocks with lime mortar repointing. Uneven wooden floors were ripped up, realigned and replaced. A defunct swimming pool was converted to a 50,000-litre tank for underground storage of rainwater. Windows were double-glazed and made to open, so that natural airflows are available throughout the building to complement and minimise use of the air conditioning systems. Two elevators were installed to provide wheelchair access to all floors. The forecourt area and the internal courtyard were elegantly landscaped.