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Sambond Bond Woolstores Heritage Conversion

Sambond Bond Woolstores Heritage Conversion

Located in Fremantle's historic West End, this award-winning townhouse, formerly the 1901 Samson Bond Store warehouse, has undergone meticulous restoration, skillfully integrating modern amenities like home automation via Zigbee technology, while preserving its rich heritage features.

This townhouse isn’t just any heritage project; this one’s for the history books. Not only is it located in Fremantle’s West End heritage area, the oldest part of Perth. It’s also opposite the 1831 Round House, the oldest still-standing building in Western Australia, and is surrounded by multiple buildings now owned by The University of Notre Dame Australia.

The two-storey Samson Bond Store warehouse was built in 1901 by Dalgety & Co, where it was used to store wool and other agricultural products. In the 1970s, it was bought by Lionel Samson & Son, who turned it into a liquor store complete with slanted floors to roll the barrels down. By 1996, it was transformed into 14 luxury townhouses by architect Ralph Hoare, a heritage restoration specialist.

We had to preserve and restore the heritage materials within the building such as the old beams, columns, floors and trusses, while showcasing them as features within the design making cabling reticulation for power & lighting and Air-conditioning pipework, ductwork and drainage a challenge. In the kitchen, a wine cabinet doubles as a service duct that takes all the pipework and electrical cable needed, plus provides space for the air ducts. It looks like a wine bottle collection, but actually it’s covering quite a lot of services.

The logistics were particularly difficult. The townhouse started off with four levels and 53 steps to navigate and move materials in between.

Attention to detail is everywhere, including feature lighting fixed inside the retained steel columns, custom leather handles, and a spectacular wall clad in recycled bricks – adding effect while providing the space to store services behind. The team installed underfloor heating in the bathrooms, ceiling fans and split-system air-conditioning throughout.

But it’s the home automation that impresses most, operable through apps and smart devices. Bayliss Group was one of the first contractors to jump onto Zigbee technology in a wide scale multi level build, a wireless network that allows smart objects to work together. The home’s significant industrial commercial lighting systems, via Clipsal, are all operable online, as is the sound system. In the words of the owner, “You can pretty much stand in the kitchen and open up your front door, and then change all the lights, change the blinds, and skylight upstairs”.

The longer-term benefit is that while the hardware and services set-up took time, the firmware should only need to be updated online, rather than physically replaced. As software upgrades come into play, it makes the house a lot more evolved with the times. Now, everything just works off your phone and Google Assistant.

Now this build is the winner of the HIA Australian Townhouse/Villa of the Year award for 2021, all the hard work has paid off for a project that went so far beyond what the team expected.

The build:
Electrical: All exposed sockets and switches in Clipsal Iconic Anthracite.
Lighting: Nemo ‘Kepler’ pendant from Alti Lighting.
Air-conditioning: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries split ducted with myzone3 zone control and integration.
Audio Visual: Bowers & Wilkins Speakers and Bose Amplifier
Automation: Clipsal Wiser Automation
Intercom: Hikvision Gen2