Hardy Street School House Renovation

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Oakleys Nelson was proud to contribute to the transformation of one of Nelson’s oldest buildings into upmarket tourist accommodation.

Built in 1860 as the Hardy Street Girl’s School, the building is an iconic, historical feature of the city.

Originally designed by Maxwell Bury, the building was a school house until 1897 and has had several other uses since including offices for the Education Board and then the Public Works Department, a Nelson Polytechnic teaching space and private ownership.

Its current owners are local couple Jason and Jennifer Monopoli who bought the building with the intention to restore it back to its former glory and repurpose it for tourist accommodation.

Using local architect Alisdair Daines​, the couple stripped the interior back to its bones to expose the original ceiling arches and rimu floors. The piles, which were rocks from Nelson’s Boulder Bank shaped by prisoners, were in good condition and remained in place. The category 1 Heritage listed façade was retained, protected and revitalised.

Some later additions to the property had to be demolished but the main building was retained, though completely re-wired and re-plumbed.

The transformation turned the school house into a four-bedroom apartment, with each bedroom having its own luxurious ensuite. The adjoining Matron’s Room has become a two-bedroom apartment, with two ensuites.

To contribute to the property’s now upmarket feel, the owners were specific about the bathroomware selected.

“Our vision for the interior was clear,” Jason says. “Features that had genuine historical significance would be kept and highlighted, but for everything else we wanted clean and contemporary products and finishes.

"This is demonstrated in the bathrooms where we've made use of style and colour-matched fittings, subtle lighting, minimalist shower enclosures and upright towel rails.”

This shower enclosures are from Atlantis. They are installed over tiled walls, have stylish low-profile trays, and exposed hardware which has been powder-coated in a gunmetal finish to match the Robertson Uno tapware. Robertson Splash shower columns provide a luxurious showering experience.

St Michel Haven vanities in a Black Wilderness woodgrain finish compliment the historical timber features of the building and provide ample storage and functional usage for guests.

Vertical towel warmers maximise space. Large simple mirrors and accessories in gunmetal complete the look.

Architect: Alisdair Daines
Builder: Moore Building
Plumber: Allen Plumbing & Gas
Kitchen fitout: Cooper Webley

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