This property in Flinders, on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, began as a rustic two-bedroom brick cottage and garage. Director of Noxon Justin Noxon purchased the cottage in 2009, which was used in its original state as his family holiday house for over a decade.
By 2019, the home and landscape (a mix of small orchard, cleared paddock, and native bush on eight acres) was due for a makeover.
As the architect and owner-builder, Justin’s vision was to capture the essence and spirit of the original property, especially in the brick cottage. ‘We embraced the basic imperfect nature of the original in search of a quiet elemental simplicity as a balance to the busy bustle of weekly urban life in the city,’ he says.
A new bedroom was added to the structure using recycled bricks from the verandah. The original roof geometry and timber lining boards were repeated in the addition, and the brick floor was embellished and retained.
The remaining spaces in the cottage were given a facelift with skylights, paint, and a new window seat. ‘A small but significant insertion into the original cottage, it has opened a wonderful new aspect and connection with the hills beyond, whilst brightening the interior,’ says Justin of the window seat.
Meanwhile, the original garage was converted into a guest studio inclusive of a kitchenette, bathroom, and living room with a contemporary wood heater. White internal timber lining boards are coupled with the original trusses, which were painted, providing an industrial volume and character consistent with the building’s former use as a garage.
The final building on the property is the newly-built ‘shed’ with a distinct design identity. Charcoal steel cladding (specifically chosen to offset the vibrant green colour) gives way to exposed oriented strand board (OSB) lining the floors and ceiling within, paired with concrete floors.
In collaboration with Florian Wild and Formed Landscapes, Justin regenerated the garden with new pergola elements linking the studio and cottage, and designated outdoor areas for both structures. The property also features a new fire pit area, and an outdoor bathroom set among the olive trees.
The overall renovation of Walden Flinders has not only expanded its accommodation, but revived its landscape, and better framed the property’s natural surrounds. ‘My favourite parts of the project are all the little vignettes one sees as you move around and through the property,’ says Justin. ‘Moments are framed in connection with the outside and we’re constantly reminded of the many different aspects within the property.’
Walden Flinders is available to stay in as short-term holiday accommodation