The purpose of the Built Now & Then blog is to introduce home owners and design enthusiasts to the smart ways people are blending the old with the new. It’s a useful tool for others to see what architectural projects have been approved and built, suburb by suburb.
Through my blog posts, I take my readers to cafés located in suburbs where there is a definite trend towards a revitalisation of the architecture. These are suburbs that have had new life breathed into them in the form of modern alterations and additions, particularly those that are sympathetic to the existing built environment. It’s a style I call ‘Contemperiod’.
Heritage buildings and conservation areas are a much-needed element in the community, they tell a story about the history of an area through architecture and their aesthetic appeal adds warmth and character amidst new structures which can sometimes be clinical and uninspired. Each of my posts includes a brief history and NOW & THEN images of the subject suburb so that you can see how an area has changed. It’s important to understand an area before designing changes to heritage items and conservation areas. The significance of a place, the scale, form and character must be carefully considered when designing new works.
The Built Now & Then blog is my way of paying tribute to the passionate supporters of ‘Contemperiod’ design, including as it involves cafés. They have triumphantly blended the old with the new and I love that I can wander around a suburb and delight in coming across an inspiring example.
The wonderful thing about cafés is that you can walk into a space that lives and breathes community, and welcomes with open arms the people who make their homes nearby and those who drop by for a visit. It’s lovely to be able to sit and ponder the history of the local area, how it evolved, who used to live there and what its function was in the broader community. Today, structures like power stations, fire stations, post offices and even church buildings have been repurposed to meet modern utility. Some are converted – in part or in whole – into fabulous cafés where, along with your coffee and muffins, you can enjoy a serving of “back in the day”, courtesy of framed photos on the walls or through the very architecture itself.
Journey with me as I visit suburbs all over Australia and beyond. I hope to show you interesting and innovative ways of adding new elements to old buildings whilst retaining and protecting the legacy of a bygone era. Hopefully, you’ll discover the same ‘Contemperiod’ magic that I find so compelling.
My name is Suzanne Fuchs. I’m an architect and heritage consultant. You can read more about the heritage services I offer here.