Elizabeth Bay Terrace


Virginia Kerridge

Les & Miriam Stein

At first, we were uneasy about embarking upon such a comprehensive renovation. We had heard friends tell horror stories of how their great dreams had eroded into frustrating and expensive disappointments.

Still, we felt enthralled by the potential of our 1890 four-storey terrace and were excited by the prospect of using Virginia Kerridge as our architect.

We had seen in her previous work a love of natural materials and an exquisite use of perspective and proportion. What also appealed was that Virginia showed a creative flexibility in her response to the brief. She was obviously not a formulaic architect. And she shared our love of contemporary art.

Our mandate was to literally open up the house—to let the light in, and to create the most natural flow between indoors and outdoors. Virginia understood this brief perfectly.

Virginia recommended a range of builders, including John Fielding. We liked him immediately, not just because he radiates quiet confidence, but because of the fine professional rapport between him and Virginia. It was obvious that they already liked and respected each other’s work.

We formed a good team from the start, working our way through the design, planning, costing and construction. Our weekly site meetings were a joy, as we addressed every facet of transforming the house. The loudest sound was the laughter between us.

John and Virginia are very good listeners so everyone felt they were an important part of the process. No matter the complexity of the challenge we presented, John always found a beautiful solution. We think that is what drives him—a passion for excellence in design and execution.

All the guys at Bellevarde are committed to such excellence. The house is finished to an exceptional level. We could not be happier with the process and the outcome.

We now believe that renovating an old house can be an exhilarating and deeply satisfying experience—just choose your architect and builder really well!

Virginia Kerridge

Rebuilding a terrace, especially one that has seen hard times and an unsympathetic 1980’s renovation, can be a complex and arduous process.

As an architect what you enjoy most is owners with a great design sense and a commitment to excellence, plus a builder who shares the same passions. We all came together really well.

We opened up the courtyard area to let light into the whole house. We converted the top floor into one large room and removed the attic to create a double height library space. We gave the master bedroom a generous bathroom and dressing room with large doors opening to a balcony.

Floor by floor we transformed the house into something quite beautiful.

Most importantly it was a joyous process, because we all worked as a team.

John is a first class and imaginative builder. He loves what he does. Plus his boundless enthusiasm for what we were trying to achieve, rubbed off on everyone.

This is the sixth home I have done with John and I have enjoyed every one of them.

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