Birchgrove House

Renovation of a worker's cottage in Sydney's inner west.

Construction commencing 2018.

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A modest weatherboard semi-detached cottage in a conservation area is to be sensitively re-worked to suit the lifestyle of a busy professional couple. A tiny compartmentalised floor plan is to be opened up so that living, sleeping, and working spaces flow seamlessly into each other, making a small haven within a dense urban setting.

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The entrance sits at the junction of old and new. Fine-grain timber detailing makes the entrance a bit special - as space down the narrow side passage compresses, the house becomes more tactile. Humble domestic architecture becomes responsive to the experience of its human users.

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The new living space contrasts high ceilings with the snug spaces of the historic cottage at the front. Skylights bring diffuse northern light into this south-facing room. Kitchen and laundry fittings are discreetly integrated, so that a small space remains serene and uncluttered.