This repurposing of a compact Westmere cottage is a story about big living in a tiny space. Significant architectural imagination was required to squeeze four bedrooms, two bathrooms, plus kitchen, living, dining and a separate family room into 128 square metres. And make it liveable.
The concept involved re-arranging rooms around a central spine - a bank of white cabinetry that runs the length of the home. It not only gives a common element to the rooms, but is a space-saving idea which alternately provides storage in the bedrooms, kitchen, an office and the living zones. Several walls were deleted and others instated to allow for exacting proportions within the tight envelope. A new en suite was incorporated and the second bathroom upgraded within a pared-back material palette of tile and plywood cabinetry.
The original living area was extended by two metres; the timber flooring here now runs directly out to a deck which curves up like a skateboard ramp to become a fence. This creates a visual illusion that allows the indoors to feel at one with the exterior. A wraparound deck and sliding doors in this north-facing corner means more light floods into the home.
At the rear of the property, a stepped-down lounge was added along with a pool and pool deck. It was a tight fit on the 422-square-metre section. The tidy geometry of the rectangular pool leaves enough space for a patch of lawn, important for a family with three boys.
The horizontal weatherboard cladding of the addition is echoed in the lines of a white pergola that extends above the roof and over the deck. This combination, along with a vertical line-up of fish-gill windows, means the rear of the home speaks its own architectural language. It’s an unashamedly modern bookend to a traditional dwelling.