South Dowling Street Redfern

The brief for this project was to restore  the terrace’s facade by returning it to its original form; and in doing so, ensure the duplication of the detailing and traditional features still partially evident on some of the adjacent terraces.

The original cast iron balustrades and friezes, including its distinctive “key frieze”, had been previously entirely removed; and subsequent investigation revealed extensive decay of the balcony’s structural timber beams.

After reconstruction and installation of a new hardwood balcony deck, ornate Victorian style reproduction balustrade, friezes and key freize were  installed. This new lace work was supplied  in a “harbour bridge grey” powder coat colour, simulating a metallic iron-like finish and adds to its visual authenticity.

Of particular note in this facade restoration was the attention given to both the reinstatement of the lace “key” frieze and its framework; and also the replication of the layered traditional style “dentil” mouldings. This intricate detail, ornamenting the balcony’s main beam, was replicated from similar details still remaining on the adjacent terraces. Such detailing is very commonly overlooked or given scant regard by both some clients and builders when undertaking renovation or repair work to a terrace.

During the course of the work, a former bathroom “window” in the balcony’s end external wall was discovered to be a small, but original, arched opening. Plaster repairs were effected to damaged arch and the retained aperture now provides an interesting and pleasant view into the leafy open space bounding this property on one side.

The newly exposed and damaged walls required extensive surface preparation, plaster repairs and generally making good; and this was undertaken by our preferred heritage experienced painting contractor. The simple grey colour palette selected by the architect owner, complimented the lace metalwork and also provided a practical low maintenance solution in this high vehicular traffic location.

The intricacy of the facade’s detailing, selection of ornate reproduction lace work, and high quality end result attracted considerable attention, favourable comments, and also additional enquiries for similar work from local residents in this increasingly popular Inner City location.


0466 535 232