The only hint of what lies beyond at the front of this unassuming existing cottage, is the delicate procession of thin diagonal steel ebbing the passerby towards a sensuous curved wall that embraces a discrete side entrance for access to the rear studio. The new studio affords a main entrance off the rear lane way, and ties in with the aesthetic of the new additions to the existing cottage.
The understated monochromatic palette employed both externally and internally heightens the sense of space and the lines of the design. The stained floorboards of the existing cottage capitulate to the monochromatic palette, with the rest of the cottage restored and a new contemporary family bathroom featuring a free-standing bath in front of an old doorway filled in with smoked mirror amongst a balanced composition of suspended cabinets.
At the old back door of the cottage, a charcoal portal compresses and then opens out into the open plan area. A smooth series of curves morph into the kitchen, concealing the laundry and internal garage access. The concrete kitchen bench can be seen piercing the glazing line to form a floating barbecue bench outside. On the living room end of the space, storage and the top of the flight of stairs is concealed behind dark timber cabinets which hover above a marble plinth which doubles as the fireplace hearth. Floating steps to the beginning of the flight of stairs with fine balusters maintain a sense of openness opposite full height glazing facing north, protected by a generous overhang and aluminium louvres.
Upstairs is a dedicated master suite, with a relaxing seating area overlooking the garden and rooftops open to the sleeping area and framed by cabinetwork with steps up to the free-standing bath and vanity basins. Visually concealed behind the walk-in wardrobe is a steam shower and toilet. The breathtaking views are accessible throughout the master suite with full height glazing facing north, framed by aluminium louvres. Louvres allow for cross ventilation without hindering the view.
In the courtyard, the concrete-coloured face brickwork is continued with an open bond to the screen walls which conceal the drying court, vegetable gardens, bin storage and walkway to the rear studio. The internal concrete floor finish is continued outside to create an external seating area, which steps down and frames the grassed area.
The rear studio is comprised of two two-storey pavilions, linked by a walkway and a double volume courtyard space sheltered by louvres. The layout affords extreme flexibility for a range of uses to be accommodated. A warehouse feel has been created with concrete floors, exposed brickwork internally and exposed timber framed floors with a steel stair. The solid bottom flight of the stairs conceals the laundry, while translucent louvres and highlight windows around the stair allow north-facing light into the interior.
An arrangement of charcoal coloured rendered panels and openings breaks up the mass of the two-storey pavilions with strategically positioned sunshading devices and louvres creating comfortable spaces internally all year round.