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Breathing Bold New Life Into A Heritage Home

Architecture

This renovated cottage by Therefore in Abbotsford conforms to the surprise-reveal model – where a bold rear addition completely reconfigures the original home.

We chat with firm director Alex Lake about transforming this family home into a whole new dual design, while (incredibly) only adding four square metres of new floor area.

25th January, 2019

Photo – Rory Gardner. Styling – Emma Archer.

Photo – Rory Gardner. Styling – Emma Archer.

Photo – Rory Gardner. Styling – Emma Archer.

Photo – Rory Gardner. Styling – Emma Archer.

Photo – Rory Gardner. Styling – Emma Archer.

Photo – Rory Gardner. Styling – Emma Archer.

Photo – Rory Gardner. Styling – Emma Archer.

Photo – Rory Gardner. Styling – Emma Archer.

Photo – Rory Gardner. Styling – Emma Archer.

Photo – Rory Gardner. Styling – Emma Archer.

Lucy Feagins
Friday 25th January 2019

The Abbotsford house by Therefore architects is an example of how inventive design can completely reimagine the identity of space. Therefore director Alex Lake explains that the project is a ‘modest rear addition to a beautiful existing Victorian home, that presents an abstract dialogue between the new and old Architecture.’

There is a clear and clean divide between the old and new architectural styles, which is considerate of local context and crafty in concealing lines of sight. The new concrete pavilion sits around a central courtyard space, that brings daylight into the home and connects the dwelling with the surrounding garden.

The original home maintains its street profile, as the new pavilion is nestled behind with a lowered roof. Alex enthuses ‘although the new form is invisible from the streetscape, its skillion roof, and brick detailing reference Abbotsford’s adjacent factories and heritage context.’ The new addition is built from robust industrial materials, and Alex explains how the use of raw and unfinished materials in both the interior design and new pavilion creates connections between the old and new, while also providing ‘generous new amenity delivered on a modest budget’ and promoting ‘innate sustainability through longevity.’

The floor plan of the home has only increased by 4sqm, but the strategic design has introduced a second bathroom, second living area, laundry, and second outdoor space. The new plan has a ‘pin-wheel’ layout in the kitchen, encouraging family gatherings in the space while retaining functional and compact living.

The success of this project can be credited to a ‘genuine collaboration’ between the Architecture and Interiors disciplines at Therefore. In addition to bringing light and vibrancy to a Victorian home, the new design also brings an unexpected contemporary edge that reflects the vibrant suburb where it is situated.

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net