An Australian Cottage Gets a Mediterranean-Inspired Revamp

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By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo
With crisp, white stucco walls and a lush garden setting, this airy space will mentally transport you to the Mediterranean.

When tapped to redesign a darling cottage in Brisbane's Little Italy, the team at Cavill Architects was inspired by "architecture with veneration for the past." As a result, the newly remodeled dwelling now pays homage to the Italian migrant workers' housing that was a crucial part of the Australian city's post-war settlement. 

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Beginning at the front, the garden walls meander under the existing cottage and finish at the rear of the site. 

Beginning at the front, the garden walls meander under the existing cottage and finish at the rear of the site. 

Imagined as a series of repurposed garden walls, the home indeed takes on a Mediterranean-like feel with bright, open rooms, white stucco walls, and a living space that is fully integrated into its glorious garden setting.  

The open kitchen has a warm Mediterranean-like feel and overlooks the central garden.

The open kitchen has a warm Mediterranean-like feel and overlooks the central garden.

Large sliding doors fully enable indoor/outdoor living. 

Large sliding doors fully enable indoor/outdoor living. 

The notion of an integrated indoor/outdoor experience runs counter to the plan of a traditional Queensland worker's cottage, where the living areas often sit alongside an external deck.

The notion of an integrated indoor/outdoor experience runs counter to the plan of a traditional Queensland worker's cottage, where the living areas often sit alongside an external deck.

Rather than opting for the schematic, open-plan design of the renovated Queensland worker's cottage, the formalized living, sitting, and dining areas are compartmentalized; each room is dedicated to their function.

Rather than opting for the schematic, open-plan design of the renovated Queensland worker's cottage, the formalized living, sitting, and dining areas are compartmentalized; each room is dedicated to their function.

The minimalist material palette is a mix of whitewashed stucco, wood, and concrete. 

The minimalist material palette is a mix of whitewashed stucco, wood, and concrete. 

A quiet office nook. 

A quiet office nook. 

Even the bathrooms have a luminous feel. 

Even the bathrooms have a luminous feel. 

An Australian Cottage Gets a Mediterranean-Inspired Revamp - Photo 9 of 11 -
 The firm has also preserved features typical to the pre-war worker's cottage. 

 The firm has also preserved features typical to the pre-war worker's cottage. 

Everything has been planned with particular attention to the character of the streetscape and the preservation of the landscape. The garage door has been integrated with a timber screen, which provides visual relief and delicately mediates between public and private space. 

Everything has been planned with particular attention to the character of the streetscape and the preservation of the landscape. The garage door has been integrated with a timber screen, which provides visual relief and delicately mediates between public and private space. 

Project Credits: 

Architect of Record: Cavill Architects

Structural Engineer: Westera Partners

Landscape Design Company: Dan Young Landscape