The interior was run-down but once Hilko had seen the house plans, he was convinced he could transform the space into something beautiful.
“It’s a typical Parkhurst house: more or less square with a tiled roof and a chimney. Apart from a small extension done in the sixties, the house has remained unchanged since it was built in 1952,” he says, adding with a chuckle: “When the transfer took place, I was given a demolition certificate instead of a certificate of compliance! Fortunately, it wasn’t necessary to flatten the house.”
Although it needed a lot of work, the home had solid ‘bones’ with no structural defects. A big plus was that the roof rested solely on the exterior walls, which meant Hilko was free to demolish interior walls.
Once most of the walls, including those in a passage and a separate sunroom, had been removed, the original three-bedroom house was converted into a one-bedroom home with open-plan living areas and a veranda – exactly what Hilko wanted. A garden flat at the back has been renovated to provide guest accommodation, while the patchwork roof from previous additions has been replaced with a concrete slab. To add shape and volume, all the horizontal steel windows were replaced with trendy school windows and the doorways were raised.
Industrial, yet sociable
Not one for keeping up with the latest trends, Hilko wanted timeless finishes. “My starting point was simplicity and keeping the house as original as possible,” he says. “I wanted to create a neutral, classic base that isn’t beholden to a specific period.”
However, everything had to be done on a limited budget. When it was discovered that the old parquet floors could not be saved as was originally intended, Hilko decided to install raw cement floors throughout.
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