Artistic retreat

Author: Toni Mason

A perfectly positioned pied-à-terre seamlessly melds old and new.

Historic architecture meets artistic endeavour at a new retreat in Hobart's Salamanca neighbourhood that embodies the spirit of the Tasmanian capital's cultural precinct. Arthouse Salamanca is the handiwork of Tasmanian-based artist Genevieve de Couvreur, who has transformed a two-storey cottage originally built in the 1880s to house boat crews into a thoughtful, self-contained retreat that maintains its original features without scrimping on contemporary touches.

Guests enter via the Arthouse's street-level top storey, where the hallway and the two spacious bedrooms running off it are hung with large original artworks, some by Couvreur herself. A stairwell descends to the lower-level living area where most of the cladding has been removed to expose walls of convict-hewn sandstone blocks, most dramatically in the main bathroom. Downstairs, dramatic artworks also feature, as well as a long table of Tassie blackwood made by de Couvreur's husband, Stephen Tredinnick.

Clever touches abound, including a glass splashback for the stove, which reveals the brickwork behind. The kitchen and living room are flooded with light from a glass-bordered ceiling and open onto a terrace contained by Hobart's original sea wall, Australia's oldest, with a view to the River Derwent beyond - a meeting of old and new in keeping with the historic hub of Salamanca itself. Arthouse Salamanca sleeps four at $880 per night. 104 Salamanca Pl, Battery Point, Tas.

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