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Ryde Street House

Ryde Street House is an addition to a workers’ cottage in North Hobart and is a fine-drawn example of urban densification.

After living in the house for 15 years, with a growing family, the owners’ choice was to adapt or move. 

The brief was for a larger living area, additional bedroom, bathroom and connection to the garden.

The cottage was extended to create a new two-storey addition which fits under the existing roof-line with minimal impact on its neighbours.

Moving through the house, the front two bedrooms remain untouched. A new landing serves the bathroom and connects up and down. Upstairs, a library, study, ensuite and bedroom is accommodated in the roof space and downstairs, the living, kitchen and dining opens directly to the garden.

Voids connect upper and lower levels bringing in light and making playful connections.

The red colour palette plays homage to the dominant colour of Hobart’s inner city suburbs.

This project is an example of social sustainability and enables the family to continue to live and grow in the community they love. 

Photos by Adam Gibson

House at night screen open
Living room and garden
Living and kitchen
living below, library above
Bookshelves with skylight
Bedroom joinery
House with screen closed
Exterior with bedroom shutters open

New Town Primary School Early Learning

The brief for New Town Primary School Early Learning was to bring small and outdated existing facilities up to national standards. 

This involved opening up two small classrooms to create one large room and to make indoor-outdoor connections to a kinder playground. 

Internally the creation of a central corridor extends the school’s circulation patterns and connects the two kinder rooms. This central space doubles as an informal breakout for children during the day and a place for parents to gather before and after school.

Externally a new verandah provides covered outdoor play, a brick terrace curves around the base of a large tree making for intimate class seating and a picket fence balloons around the playground.

This project explores the playful use of familiar domestic elements to bring joy.

Photos by Adam Gibson 

Picket fence balloons around playground  Indoor-outdoor connections  kinder room  kinder playground  children entering classroom from outside  children in new corridor  original entrance to New Town Primary

The Greenhouse

Culverden, circa 1900, is a highly-crafted Italianate style house in Mount Stuart.  The family’s design brief was for their home to be ‘engulfed by their garden’.  Our response was to design a two-storey green-house style glass extension, with a private suite contained in a floating box.

The ‘greenhouse’ allows clear views to the family’s expansive garden, and to Hobart and the River Derwent beyond.  The new living area can be opened to the terrace via sliding doors, while the parents’ private space hovers above.  Floors peel back slightly revealing glimpses between the upper and lower levels, and light floods through the house.

The design provides an extension fit for contemporary living that sits respectfully beside this beautifully intact circa 1900 house.

The project won the 2019 Australian Institute of Architects Roy Sharrington Smith Award for Heritage, Award for Residential Architecture (Alterations and Additions) and the COLORBOND Award for Steel Architecture.

You can read more about the project here and here.

Photos by Adam Gibson

Mount Stuart Green House kitchen interior  External Elevation Mount Stuart Greenhouse  Mount Stuart Greenhouse double height void  Mount Stuart Greenhouse dining area  Mount Stuart Greenhouse entry from original hallway  Mount Stuart Greenhouse walk in robe  Mount Stuart Greenhouse downstairs bathroom  Mount Stuart Greenhouse ensuite bath

Mount Stuart Greenhouse shortlisted for national award

Bence Mulcahy is thrilled the Mount Stuart Greenhouse has been shortlisted for two Australian Institute of Architects 2019 National Architecture Awards. We are excited to be on a shortlist that includes so many of our favourite architects.  Click here for more information.

Mount Stuart Greenhouse

Tasmanian Architecture Awards 2019

Bence Mulcahy is chuffed that our Mount Stuart Greenhouse project won three awards – the Roy Sharrington Smith Award for Heritage, Award for Residential Architecture (Alterations and Additions) and COLORBOND Award for Steel Architecture. We were delighted to share the stage with our fabulous clients.

Shamus speaks 2019 awards 

COLORBOND Award Mount Stuart Greenhouse

Mount Stuart Greenhouse award presentation

Cascade Female Factory Visitors Centre Competition 2017

Bence Mulcahy, working with Muir Architects and Lovell Chen, was short-listed to Stage 2 of a competition to design a new history and interpretation centre at the Cascades Female Factory in South Hobart.

The World Heritage listed Female Factory is Australia’s most significant historic site associated with female convicts. Today three of the site’s original five yards remain, along with the sandstone Matron’s Cottage.

Our proposed interpretation centre connects the three yards and preserves the site’s delicate archaeology by bridging the remains. Elevated garden beds define the original location of buildings.

The building is constructed from limestone tiles, selected to give a domestic touch. In keeping with the original buildings, the interior is simple and reduced. Natural light and tactile shelves help visitors navigate the site.

Cascades Female Factory Plan Cascades Female Factory Exterior 2 Cascades Female Factory Cascades Female Factory Cascades Female Factory Interior

Holy Rosary Catholic School

Established in 1961, Holy Rosary has a long and proud history of being a community-minded school.

Bence Mulcahy’ brief was to build new contemporary teaching spaces, upgrade student ammenities, and create flexible spaces for social and community programs as well as core educational uses.

The scale, form and materiality of the new buildings pay homage to the site’s existing low-lying red brick structures, while the transparent shared spaces, new amenities pods and pop-up sun collectors are playful and contemporary.

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Holy Rosary Catholic School Holy Rosary Catholic School Holy Rosary Catholic School Holy Rosary Catholic School Holy Rosary Catholic School Holy Rosary Catholic School Holy Rosary Catholic School Holy Rosary Catholic School Holy Rosary Catholic School Holy Rosary Catholic School

Construction underway for Ryde Street Stage II

Bence Mulcahy and Thylacine Constructions have work underway on Stage II of this project, which involves extending the existing two-bedroom North Hobart cottage. It creates a small, efficient family home that makes the most of every square centimetre.






Ryde Street Stage II Bence Mulcahy exterior image Ryde Street Stage II Bence Mulcahy interior image Ryde Street Stage II slab, brick wall, ceiling Ryde Street Stage II architect, engineer, builder View from upstairs, Ryde Street

EmAGN Tour

As part of the national Emerging Architect Tour, 2016 Tasmanian winner Bek joined the 2016 national winner Anthony Balsamo and 2017 Tasmanian winner Thomas Bailey to discuss the theme ‘Process, Perseverance, Procrastination’ and how it relates to her practice of architecture.

Bek addressed the theme through the lens of one small project, quirky visitor accommodation in Derby, Tasmania, designed for her best friend Loz, a hardcore mountain bike rider.

The project is designed around the needs of mountain bike riders, with bike storage, social dining, craft beer drinking and the ability to shed layers of mud central to the scheme.

Derby mountainbikers accommodation EmAGN Derby mountainbikers accommodation EmAGN Derby mountainbikers accommodation EmAGN Derby mountainbikers accommodation EmAGN Derby mountain bikers accommodation EmAGN

Findlay Project highlights women in architecture

Sophie and Bek have extended their support for women in architecture with their involvement in the Findlay Project, a series of events and activities that highlight the role of women architects.  It is named for Margaret Findlay, who was born in Scottsdale in 1916 and became Tasmania’s first female registered-architect. See here for more about Margaret Findlay.



Findlay Project after-dinner meet Sophie at Findlay Project after-dinner meet Findlay Project after-dinner meet

Shamus and Bek involved in 2018 Architecture Awards

Shamus is thrilled to be a member of the jury for the 2018 AIA (Tasmania Chapter) Architecture Awards.  It has been an exciting opportunity to travel around Tasmania with fellow jury members viewing short-listed entries. Meanwhile, Bek has been busy as co-creative director of the awards (with Liz Walsh).  The winners will be announced on 7 July.

Open House Hobart

The Bence Mulcahy office was buzzing last weekend as more than 80 locals and visitors to Tasmania dropped in as part of Open House Hobart. We enjoyed chatting about people’s architectural plans and dreams over coffee and Bek’s home made meringues, while kids were kept busy with our models.

If you’d like a copy of the brochure we made for the day, which explains how we work, please give us a call or email


Family look at model display

Models and Meringues

Bence Mulcahy Brochure Front Page

Inside Bence Mulcahy Brochure Photos by Helen Norrie and Bek Verrier

Lambert Avenue House

This project returns a Californian bungalow to its former glory and extends it to suit the lives of the busy young family who have made it their home.

The clients’ brief is to restore the house to make the most of its original features and to create a new space for family life that offers something different to the enclosed, hunkered-down feel of the original bungalow.

Stage 1 involves repairing the existing building and tweaking its layout to make it more functional and to maximise sunlight.

Stage 2  is a new addition. We drew inspiration from the form and materials of the bungalow so that the new building has the sense of extending from the original, rather than simply adding to it. We describe the approach as “ rafting”. The new addition cantilevers over the garden to make the most of the northern aspect and, like the original, is brick with a hipped tile roof.  The contrast with the original lies in how the space works for the family, rather than in its form.

Lambert House Model Lambert House Model with Extension Lambert House Model

Cosgrove High School ‘A Block’ 

This project is designed to foster school spirit at Cosgrove High School by bringing together students and staff scattered across the large site into one building.

At the heart of the project is the creation of a central hub for learning and socialising. The original double-loaded corridor is removed so that new classrooms can open both into the shared central area and the corridor.  This will offer flexibility for teaching and improve flow through the building.  A new kitchen will allow the shared space to be used for the school’s breakfast club and community events, and new toilets will be accessible from both inside and out.   Staff offices are located around the perimeter of the building to encourage students to take ownership of the central space.

The memory of the original building lives on through the re-introduction of the old faceted roof profile in the openings that have been cut to create the central space.

Cosgrove High School Learning Hub Cosgrove High School Learning Hub 2

Hampden Road House

Fusiliers Cottage in Battery Point was built in the 1840s for Angus McLeod, a Scottish musician and soldier.  McLeod taught music from his home and also made it the headquarters for his Quadrille Band, which entertained crowds of Hobartians.

Like McLeod, its new owners wish to combine business and family under the one roof.  The project involves repairing the existing cottage, creating office/retail space, visitor accomodation, and designing a new extension for the family’s living area.

The bluestone and sandstone cottage is full of Georgian charm, and its generous garden which opens to the street makes it a popular local landmark. The extension supports these unique characteristics: the new building is set within the garden, is smaller in scale than the cottage, has a flat roof, and is positioned so that views of the cottage from Hamden Road and Waterloo Crescent are protected.

The facade of the new extension is designed to give the family opportunities both to remain private and to open their home to bustling Battery Point.  Glass doors and timber screens can be used in various combinations to change how the cottage interacts with the street and garden.

The use of finely detailed Tasmanian timbers and a sensitive colour palette will compliment the Fusilier Cottage’s original bluestone.

Stay at Fusilier Cottage here

Evening timber screens closed

Evening timber screens open

Fusilier Cottage and new extension

Living Room open to garden and Hampden Road

New and old

Tas Oak cabinetry

Tas Oak wall interior wall linings

Timber privacy screens from within

Kitchen Tas Oak and brass

Hampden Road Model

The Friends’ School Clemes Science Labs

Bence Mulcahy with H2o Architects

The Clemes Science Labs offer students state-of-the-art science facilities in an engaging and safe learning environment. The project involved refurbishing the existing laboratories and designing an extension for the lab technicians’ preparation area.  Each lab has four large fume cupboards with glass sides, which allow students to conduct experiments safely and in full view of their peers and teachers.  This design also means the central workspace can be kept clear of equipment and used for other activities. The ceilings have been carefully designed to maximise light and improve acoustics, contributing to a positive, enjoyable atmosphere for learning.

Photos by Christopher Wilson 


External photo Clemes science labs Work space and fume cupboards Glass cabinets with equipment New Clemes Science Labs image of old science labs

Bek Verrier joins Bence Mulcahy

Bence Mulcahy is delighted to announce that Bek Verrier has joined the team.  Named Tasmania’s Emerging Architect in 2016, Bek has a track-record working on award-winning projects and an irresistible enthusiasm for great design.

Bek Verrier Image

Design award for community hub

Bence Mulcahy was awarded joint second place in a national competition to design a community hub for Kingston. Our concept of a beach brolly propped over a ‘big-box’ reflects our desire to create a joyful space for community life.  See Projects for more information and photographs.


Kingston Community Hub

Sophie Bence re-elected to AIA Chapter Council

Sophie Bence was delighted to be re-elected to the Australia Institute of Architects’ Tasmanian Chapter Council. Her focus continues to be on supporting women in architecture.

The Sensory, Richmond Tasmania

With Futago and Interia

The Sensory Tasmania in historic Richmond fuses retail with the unique opportunity to experience the aromas of Tasmania’s ancient rainforests, leatherwood flowers and Tasmanian devils.

The design, featuring bold graphics and Tasmanian timbers, transports people from simply shopping to experiencing Tasmania’s wild places. The delicate furniture and fittings allow some of Tasmania’s best products to speak for themselves.

Bence Mulcahy supported Futago (graphics) and Interia (architecture and design) with documentation and project management.

Photos by Adam Gibson


The Sensory 2


The Sensory 3


The Sensory Counter


The Sensory Products

Kingston Community Hub Design Competition

Bence Mulcahy was thrilled to be awarded second place in a national competition to design a community hub for Kingston.

The project brief by Kingborough Council was focused on giving life and soul to Kingston’s commercial centre by transforming the former Kingston High School site into a series of indoor and outdoor spaces for public activity.

Our design, informed by public consultation, is a fun take on the ‘big box’ style retail building so popular in Kingston and sees a strong, unique building sheltered under an umbrella-style roof that reflects the town’s beachside identity.

The umbrella draws the site’s old and new buildings together to give the community a town square, engaging spaces, and a place to linger.

The concept of a beach brolly propped over a ‘big-box’ with  K shaped plan reflects our desire to create a joyful space for community life.


Kingston Community Hub 3


Kingston Community Hub


Kingston Community Hub Plan

Kingston Community Hub Site Plan


The Friends’ School Masterplan

Bence Mulcahy with H2o Architects

This masterplan will give The Friends’ School a framework for new and improved facilities that reflect the school’s ethos and education philosophies.

The Friends’ School is a co-educational Quaker school with 1300 students in North Hobart.  The masterplan will identify possible sites for new buildings and green spaces, and examine how to enhance connections between the two campuses, update classrooms and specialist facilities, provide more flexible learning and social spaces, and better manage traffic and parking.

Guiding the masterplan is the desire to develop facilities that benefit the whole Friends’ community without undermining the school’s distinctive feel.  Ensuring Quaker values such as simplicity, community and environmental stewardship are reflected in the design is also at the heart of the project.

For more information, visit The Friends’ School


Friends' School Main Entrance Friends' School steps Friends' School high school campus Friends' School high school buildings

North Hobart house, Tasmania

This house realises the clients’ long-conceived ideas for a very particular design and layout.  It is located in a small ‘no through street’ in North Hobart characterised by an eclectic mix of light industrial buildings and domestic residences.

The U-shaped building hugs the boundary on three sides in order to capitalise on a 4m boundary wall on the fourth side and create a private enclave. Interior spaces are organised around the couple’s daily routine and designed to suit their furniture.

Walls fronting the internal courtyard garden are mostly glazed to allow sun into the house, while external walls are clad in zincalume metal to suit the street’s industrial feel.  A deep opening in the façade, with a finely detailed awning, forms the home’s entry and marks the building as a contemporary residence among its industrial neighbours.



North Hobart house model North Hobart House street scene

Church conversion, Derby, North East Tasmania

This project converts a federation carpenter gothic church into tourist accommodation and a holiday home for a young family from Tasmania’s south. The region is increasingly popular among adventure tourists, particularly mountain bikers attracted to the Blue Derby.

The clients see themselves as custodians of the Church’s history and want to preserve as much of the building as possible. Consequently the nave and porch will simply be refurbished and used as sleeping quarters, while kitchen, dining, bathroom and storage will be housed in a new extension.

As the Church is a landmark for the local community, views of the building from the surrounding streets are carefully maintained. The new building is embedded in the ground evocative of the rock formations that pepper the hillsides, with a stretched skillion roof, referencing local building precedents. Internal elements, including a mezzanine bedroom and nook with open fire, can be easily removed if the Church’s use changes in the future.

The flexible plan with multiple sleeping and living areas, as well as outdoor shower, bike storage and bike wash, allows the Church to be enjoyed by the family alone or larger groups of tourists.


Derby Church model 2 Derby Church existing