Set within a row of heritage listed Victorian cottages sits this contemporary renovation that explores the continuity of space and form. As was common of this architectural era of the late nineteenth century, this cottage is one of eight properties that share a single roof pitch and from the street appear as a continuous façade. Mittelman Amsellem Architects were tasked with revitalising the property in Melbourne’s South Yarra, transforming a traditional cottage into a modern home for a growing young family.
With a heritage listed street façade, the architect chose to completely conceal the renovation by maintaining the traditional brick exterior and chimney, creating a deliberate transition between the new and the old as one moves through the space. The original front bedroom and sitting room were maintained to accentuate the historical facade, while the rear of the home was modernised, creating a generous kitchen and living space.
The renovation also extended into the roof area, not only to create additional space, but to allow for an abundance of natural light to be drawn in from above through expansive skylights. An ingenious layout allowed excess floor space to be removed, to create new paths for the light to travel further into the property. Each room benefits from direct skyward views through the skylights above, creating a seamless blend of the exterior and interior.
A clean and contemporary palette was used throughout the home to give a sense of continuity between the new and the old, while also acting as a blank canvas for the light to reflect off, producing an array of light variation as the sun moves throughout the day. The renovation delivers a more liveable and family-friendly home while respecting the historical value of the architectural style.
Words by Nick Taylor
Photographs by Jack Lovel