Bringing The Light Into A Heritage Cottage

After five years working on major local and international projects for one of Australia’s leading architecture firms, Fender Katsalidis, Tom Robertson established his own architecture practice in 2013. His small and dedicated team pride themselves on their commitment to collaboration within the design process, with a firm belief in helping clients ‘refine their ideas, and articulate what they love’.

This considered approach was applied to the ‘Loft House’, a sensitive extension to an existing heritage cottage, nestled in the quiet inner-city Melbourne suburb of Princes Hill.

Sally Tabart

A contemporary extension to this heritage home in Melbourne’s Princes Hill. Dining chairs from Luke Furniture. Photo – Lillie Thompson.

Oak joinery brings a sense of warmth to the space against the whitewashed brickwork. Photo – Lillie Thompson.

Table from Luke Furniture. Mushroom photograph by Elisenda Sofia. Photo – Lillie Thompson.

The dining and living areas open up to a sun-drenched deck. Photo – Lillie Thompson.

The original heritage cottage facade. Photo – Lillie Thompson.

A corner of the living area. Photo – Lillie Thompson.

A hidden rooftop oasis in inner-city Melbourne! Photo – Lillie Thompson.

A look into the cottage and extension from the rear of the property. Photo – Lillie Thompson.

A minimal and monochromatic palette allows the owner’s art and furniture to be showcased. Photo – Lillie Thompson.

The teeny-tiny bathroom brought to life by this pocket of greenery. Photo – Lillie Thompson.

Tom Robertson Architects cleverly utilised the natural surrounds of the cottage. Photo – Lillie Thompson.

Sally Tabart
22nd of August 2018

A design that evolved ‘many times’, the final iteration of the ‘Loft House’ by Tom Robertson Architects was all about achieving a sense of spaciousness on a small lot.

Presenting all the hallmark challenges of a heritage property in a high-density area, the renovation was to be elegant, functional, and have minimal impact on neighbouring properties. Despite the tight site constraints, Tom and his team were able to create a bright and roomy home here, with a surprising abundance of natural light.

Now comprising three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a study and multiple garden areas, the bones of the inner-Melbourne home are calm and restrained, with a minimalist palette of white-washed brick walls, polished concrete floors and oak joinery. Meanwhile, outside, Tom and his team have injected clever pockets of greenery in openings all throughout the building, giving the home a connection to nature that defies its inner-city locale.

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