A growing family in Albert Park, an inner suburb of Melbourne, Australia, needed a flexible home that could be zoned for different uses and remain adaptable for the future. BG Architecture designed a thoughtful plan that met the family’s requirements while respecting the historic neighborhood and existing street presence. At first glance, this charming cottage on a corner lot continues the rhythm and character of the traditional streetscape; upon closer inspection, a two-story addition full of light and contemporary details reveals itself.
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The project is a significant renovation, keeping only one room at the front of the house, with the reconfiguration of the existing shell to include a bathroom, study, and living room. A central courtyard marks the extent of the original cottage, connected by a glazed walkway to the new addition, which includes the living areas, main family and kitchen areas, and master suite.
The interiors are bright and bold, decorated with the owners’ global art collection. With a professional chef in the family, the kitchen was an important part of the spatial and creative planning. The stainless-steel kitchen island, for example, has been designed for intimate cooking demonstrations. The stair lives within the kitchen and dining zone, acting as not only a unique design element, but kitchen support space as well.
Kitchen storage is maximized below the stairs and is revealed behind operable, perforated screens. Sliding panels and pull-out drawers conceal and hide away extra space. The new master suite and second living area with city views lies at the topof the stairs, quietly visible through the metal screen.
On the exterior, the material palette is intentionally left neutral to tie in with the surrounding character and to complement the palette of the original home. With a zero setback from the alleyway, privacy was of utmost concern and provided a unique design challenge for incorporating daylight. Glass blocks capture diffused light in the kitchen and laundry zones, while the upper level master suite receives refracted light through a perforated steel gable.
Cozy and bright living spaces, modern details, and contemporary furnishings blend old with new in this revamped and extended historic cottage that embraces the past while engaging the future.
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Builder / General Contractor: Green Aspect
Structural Engineer: BBD Engineering Pty Ltd
Civil Engineer: BBD Engineerig Pty Ltd
Interior Design: BG Architecture
Cabinetry Design / Installation: Inner West Joinery