Articles / Renovation

Cottage extension uses skylights to great effect

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This extension to an 1890s cottage makes excellent use of contemporary and traditional architecture

A delicate screen of vertical timbers tempers light, view and privacy to create the characteristic ‘veil’ that encloses the upper level bedroom suite

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Architect: Anna McKinnon

From the architect: The extension to this 1890s single-fronted weatherboard cottage in Hawthorn, Melbourne is an exercise in clever compact planning that seamlessly weaves together traditional and contemporary architecture. The extension preserves the scale, materiality and character of the traditional Victorian frontage whilst introducing an elegant, two-storey extension to the rear.

A delicate screen of vertical timbers tempers light, view and privacy to create the characteristic ‘veil’ that encloses the upper level bedroom suite. The rhythmic timber screen becomes a unifying design element that extends into the interior in the form of a staircase balustrade. The balustrade screen visually animates an otherwise muted interior sensitively set within the historic shell.

Light wells distributed across the roof plan sun-wash walls and flood the open planned interior with natural light. Double height spaces, established above the staircase and dining room table, create volumetric interest. Improved visual connections to the back garden evoke a sense of spatial generosity that far exceeds the modest dimensions of the home’s interior footprint.

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First published date: 01 May 2017

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