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Building Character

Building Character

Transforming Old Homes for Modern Living

Contributions by Santoso Budiman
Contributions by Caleb Skene


  • Includes a selection of restoration ideas from around the world, including case studies from Europe, Scandinavia, United States, United Kingdom, Canada, China, and Australia
  • Insightful commentaries by design professionals provide a valuable overview and framework for current trends, particularly in the use of materials, volume disposition and layout, heritage considerations, and much more
Full Description

As the modern world changes and evolves, so does the modern lifestyle. Our levels of home comfort, desires, and overall life satisfactions are being defined in new ways, often contrasting with notions of the ‘traditional’ house design. We aim to live simpler lives yet somehow manage to have more material possessions than before; and we opt to reside in open-plan homes that provide a sense of freedom. All too often traditionally designed homes are no longer able to satisfy our contemporary living needs. The restoration of living spaces is usually to restore existing buildings that may have become impractical over time, if not outdated. These days, the challenge is how to adapt and transform these existing buildings to modern standards, all the while maintaining what may still be useful, special features or design characteristics, or what we like most about the space. This book showcases a selection of examples of how people from around the world have ingeniously refurbished an old house to meet their needs for a modern lifestyle. With vivid descriptions, detailed drawings and rich photography (including befores and afters), this book provides designers and architects, as well as owner-builders of old houses several excellent strategies on how to approach their restoration, and how to convey a modern life concept, revitalizing, and refreshing the houses for the next generation.

About the Author

Santoso Budiman is principal and creative director with SWG Studio. Founded in 2009, SWG Studio is an interdisciplinary design-focused practice, providing design services for buildings, interiors, and objects. It works on extensions for private residential projects - dealing with issues of heritage overlay - as well as new builds and multi-residential developments, institutional and commercial projects, and interior design projects for hospitality, retail and office interiors. Budiman is a registered consultant with Heritage Victoria, Australia, with a key focus on heritage-listed public buildings for major institutions, such as Melbourne University and RMIT in Melbourne, Australia, and is a member of the Projects and Buildings Committee for a significant heritage building for the Anglican church in Melbourne's CBD. Caleb Skene is with MC Architecture Studio in New Zealand. Skene graduated with a Bachelor of Architectural Studies in 2018, and in the same year joined the team at MC Architecture Studio. Previous to architecture, Caleb studied Fine Arts at the University of Canterbury for a year in order to gain a better understanding of spatial qualities on a finely detailed scale, before delving into the world of architectural design. Now still holding on to the essence of sculpture and his artistic learnings, Caleb sees architecture as a sculptural form, as well as a place to reside.

Look Inside
Images Publishing
10th May 2019
USA & Canada
8.27 in x 10.24 in
272 Pages
400 color
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