Heritage-listed properties pose plenty of challenges for architects and designers, especially when the homes are small and the building sites are tight.
This property, in a prime location not far from the beach, fell into that category. An 1897 worker's cottage on the site, built from limestone, needed to be restored. But at just one room deep, it was never going to suit a family, says project director Adrian Fratelle of Ecohabit Homes.
"We needed to build an entirely new house behind the cottage, but it was not straightforward," Fratelle says. "Local regulations determined that the addition had to be a complementary, yet stand-alone structure there needed to be a clear separation physically and aesthetically."
The architect's solution was to contrast the traditional character of the cottage with a blackwashed cedar-clad volume that frames the building in front.
"In addition to planning a new house, we needed to restore the cottage, which was derelict," says Fratelle. "The owners, who undertook all the building work themselves, chipped off numerous coats of render, which had completely hidden the beautiful limestone. At some stage, many decades ago, lean-to accommodation had been added to the house. This was all removed, and the interior was gutted and completely relined."
The team also rebuilt the veranda, with new balustrading providing separation from the pavement the woodwork was painted a soft smokey blue shade. The cottage is now an inviting home office, complete with sofa and wine cellar.