Dissecting the original cottage form, Kew Cottage sees a similar sense of proportion and volume extend lengthways, creating opportunities for light to engage with the interior experience of the home. Walter&Walter utilises a refined restraint to propose a home of consistent calm, reclusive from the outside world.
Located in the same named suburb of Kew, in Melbourne’s inner east, Kew Cottage takes cues from the existing heritage cottage it expands upon, referencing scale and an overall silhouette to carefully craft the resulting open and connected home. Behind the original structure, an addition extends the overall floor plan outward, creating a sense of journey and discovery as part of an intentional transition between the old and new. While in some cases, the passing from eras is concealed entirely and in others it becomes expressed through a material threshold, here a unique engagement with light marks and animates the conversion. Walter&Walter draws on subtleties to open and modernise the heritage home with a calming cohesion.
Built by Builders of Architecture, Kew Cottage uses restraint in materiality and form to carve a home that feels disconnected from the street, becoming its own hidden retreat. The resolve also has an unexpected element, as the new evolves from the old and creates a warm and cocooning home. Endemic to most heritage cottages is the lack of natural light internally, blocked by the formal planning and separation created throughout. In both incorporating the older charm and character and bringing a contemporary sensibility, the alterations and editions integrate select elements of the existing with the new. Th design focuses on light from a multitude of directions and shows that illumination does not necessarily have to occur through a traditional window at eye-height.
Leading to the rear addition, the original proportions are extruded to allow light to pass through newly opened joins and into the home from various angles. By extruding the existing silhouette of the cottage, the internal experience allows the full gable form to be opened from within and lead the eye upward. Muted timber insertions form the interior, running across the flooring, and encasing the integrated joinery and kitchen. Natural stone and painted plaster then add a balanced and softened counter to the timber, allowing the light to amplify.