Adaptive Reuse Projects

carste STUDIO and its previous guise as Stephen Booker Architect have acted for a wide variety of clients in preparing Statements of Heritage Impact, but only after collaborative design development, based on development of an understanding of the heritage design criteria for each specific project.

Stephen Booker, the nominated architect and director of carste has guided many projects for adaptive reuse to a successful conclusion.


South West Rocks Pilot Station

The South West Rocks Pilot Station ( a State heritage item ) has been appraised and documented for reuse as a community resources centre, for the Lands Department and the South West Rocks Maritime Precinct Trust.

The building has been sitting idle for some time and the project included fabric assessment, documentation of remedial works, assessment of staging of maintenance and change as well as addressing BCA and access issues in introducing a new use. Contact Linda Birse, Land Developer Officer Commercial Crown Lands Division , Taree Office. 


South West Rocks Pilot Station


Kempsey Showground Pavilion

In Kempsey, design advice has been given to the Kempsey Showground Trust, in the reactivation and adaptation of the showground pavilion as a function centre, with commercial kitchen and amenities improvements.


Kempsey Showground Pavilion


Dramlje kozolic/Barn Slovenia

This building is known as a kozolic (koz-o-litz) for storing hay, corn, pumpkins and drying of crops such as hops, and the winter sheltering of animals.

This structure is culturally listed, as being a significant structure, certainly of large dimensions.

The owner wished to divide this structure up into 4 residential units with a communal area that would incorporate interpretative material related to the area.


Apartments incorporated into
former storage barn

Sketches were prepared for the integration of the units into the building. The project remains unbuilt.


Orthodontist Surgery for Dr Russell Kift, 280 High Street, Maitland

This building wona a Lower Hunter Civic Design Award.

Stephen Booker was a Director of Mark Lawler Architects at the time and was the design director of this project bringing to fruition and detailed completion of Andrew Metcalfe’s concept design.


280 High Street


Dunmore House Largs.

Mr Paris Osbourne. 0249301207

Conservation works and adaptation and reconstruction of the to flanking wings of the building group, from agricultural uses to guest accommodation.


280 High Street


carste STUDIO Offices. 34 Clarke Street, Wallsend

This miner's cottage in Clarke Street Wallsend, and a Local Heritage Item on the Newcastle LEP, was purchased by the Architects in 2006 for its Office and congruent with carste STUDIO philosophy of adaptive reuse and doing as much as is necessary and as little as possible, the 1860s cottage was modified internally to accommodate the Studio and provide a meeting room, Library and foyer and ancillary facilities necessary for the operation of the practice.

The Council required disabled access to the building and so the entry door was relocate to the southern side to provide (removable) ramped access.

The building was in a sound condition but the spatial arrangement in the western area was not appropriate for the new use. New partition walls were erected to divide the Meeting room from the foyer, whilst enabling the user to appreciate the raked ceilings present in both pavilions.

The final building has an intimate feel and provides a light and airy working environment. It sits comfortably into the residential context, whilst operating successfully as a business premises, congruent with our credo.

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The building after initial modifications 2007


The building after verandah roof and foundation conservation
and reconstruction  modifications 2012


Mayo Building Raymond Terrace

The building was originally a residence located in the business district of the Raymond Terrace township. It currently serves as the Library.

The Port Stephens Council required the building to be enhanced for its users and staff through the addition of a verandah, which early photos had indicated , was removed. Physical evidence of the upper floor wall openings and floor structure were discernible.


The ground floor presented difficulties not only through the intense assemblage of under ground services but also the variation in internal floor levels and the proximity to the major roundabout.

The Verandah was also developed to serve as a terrace on the lower floor as there are glimpses of the Hunter River from this location and it was considered that there may be some possible future use for the lower part of the building as a cafe.

The design is yet to be built.