Most contemporary renovations of Melbourne’s worker’s cottages feature an open-plan kitchen and living area that’s been added to the property’s rear.
Responding to the client’s request for their home to support potential multigenerational living and guest accommodation, ‘Hot Top Peak’ by Figr Architecture & Design takes a different approach.
In transforming the Richmond, Melbourne home, Figr removed a 1970s add-on and replaced it with a new 80 square metre addition.
The extension features a living area and kitchen, followed by a guest bedroom to the very rear. This unique layout offers flexibility and the potential for future adaptation, allowing the house to be divided into two separate ‘units’ sharing a central kitchen and dining zone.
‘The emphasis is on long-term occupation and the opportunity for the owner to generate income by compartmentalising the home,’ explains Figr director Michael Artemenko.
Rooms in the existing worker’s cottage portion of the house have been retained, benefiting greatly from their high ceilings and good-sized bedrooms.
The interior plaster walls were meanwhile stripped and replaced with new plasterboard sheeting and insulation, and existing single-glazed windows were replaced with those double glazed.
Contrasting materials define thresholds and guide inhabitants on a journey that converges in the heart of the home: the spotted gum-clad kitchen and dining zone. ‘It has a feel of tranquillity balanced with functionality that allows this element to be the pivoting point between the two parts of the home,’ says Michael.
Throughout the home, the architecture employs compression and release in volume, further instilling a sense of drama and anticipation within the space.
The bathrooms offer a clear point of difference, serving as an interpretation of the client’s vibrant art pieces.
Stretched and elongated vistas through to outdoor spaces create a sense of continuity, seamlessly integrating the landscaped areas with the interior.
Post-renovation, this worker’s cottage is now a completely different home that feels far removed from the busy streets outside.
‘Despite being located in a bustling inner-city area, the project has successfully provided our client with a remarkable sense of privacy and seclusion, enabling them to continue enjoying the benefits of urban living while relishing in a tranquil retreat,’ says Michael.
Through careful planning and thoughtful design, the home maximises its relatively small footprint to create a home that embodies flexibility, longevity, and adaptation.