A Contemporary Expression of a Traditional Worker’s Cottage - Dark Horse by Architecture Architecture
Project Feature
Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Words Emma-Kate Wilson
Photography Peter Bennetts
A Simple Yet Strong Palette Of Internal Materials

With Architecture Architecture’s Dark Horse project, the simple brief for a two-storey, two-bedroom house is expanded into something much more, exploring the potential of the traditional worker’s cottage aesthetic.

The original house was in such poor condition that it was required to be demolished, however, the new build needed to continue the heritage worker’s cottage façade on the street due to council regulation. The narrow site also became a central challenge for the design, requiring that the new architecture maximise the limited space in a transformative way.

Short Feature Dark Horse, Architecture Architecture
A Contemporary Expression Of A Traditional Worker’s Cottage
Dark Horse By Architecture Architecture
The architects split the corridor to half its length so that the space would could integrate with the other rooms in the house.
Dark Horse Sees Architecture Architecture Create The Fullest Expression Of The Original Resulting In A Worker’s Cottage Redefined For Contemporary
The Narrow Site Also Became A Central Challenge For The Design
Requiring That The New Architecture Maximise The Limited Space In A Transformative Way.
The Architects Split The Corridor To Half Its Length So That The Space Would Could Integrate With The Other Rooms In The House.
The Front Half Of The House Was Designed With A Generous Study, Requested By The Client Who Works From Home

The front half of the house was designed with a generous study, requested by the client who works from home, leading to the dining room that opens up onto the centre courtyard. These areas can operate either as separate spaces, or as one large space thanks to the sliding doors that connect them. The three areas that make up the study, courtyard and kitchen can, thus, operate as a significant social area when opened up.

The illumination is surprising in the dark narrow block, but due to the expansive spaces, the site maximises every aspect of light.

At the back of the dining and kitchen, a service section contains extra kitchen space, laundry, and the staircase in a condensed block that avoids unnecessarily consuming valuable space. Meanwhile, in order to ensure that the design maximised all available space on the site, the architects used thin border walls of 15 cm thick walls, instead of the usual 30 cm. As such, the internal walls act as the support, centring the house around the middle service block.

The Three Areas That Make Up The Study, Courtyard And Kitchen Can, Thus, Operate As A Significant Social Area When Opened Up.
At The Back Of The Dining And Kitchen
The Material Of The House Reflects The Clients’ Personalities, Thanks To Extensive Conversations Between The Clients And The Architects.
Dark Horse Became A Balance Of Light And Dark, With A Palette That Combines Both Warmth And A Clean Lined Austerity.

The placement of the courtyard immediately behind the first room, and the connection through the study, dining, and kitchen opening up into one large open area, helps provides natural light and ventilation. The illumination is surprising in the dark narrow block, but due to the expansive spaces, the site maximises every aspect of light.

Meanwhile, In Order To Ensure That The Design Maximised All Available Space On The Site
On Tlp Today, We Explore The Dynamic Dark Horse Project By Architecture Architecture In Melbourne.
The study opens up in a way so that it feels like the corridor is part of that space.
A Service Section Contains Extra Kitchen Space
But Due To The Expansive Spaces, The Site Maximises Every Aspect Of Light.
The Illumination Is Surprising In The Dark Narrow Block
The Original House Was In Such Poor Condition That It Was Required To Be Demolished
As Such, The Internal Walls Act As The Support, Centring The House Around The Middle Service Block.
The material of the house reflects the clients’ personalities, thanks to extensive conversations between the clients and the architects.
The Placement Of The Courtyard Immediately Behind The First Room, And The Connection Through The Study
Dark Horse Sees Architecture Architecture Create The Fullest Expression Of The Original Brief Through Intelligent Spatial Planning, A Simple Yet S
The Prefabricated Sheets Used For The Walls Reflected Light Throughout The Rooms And Corridors, While The Dark Ceilings Reflect The Colours Of The

Dark Horse became a balance of light and dark, with a palette that combines both warmth and a clean-lined austerity. The clients sought a low-maintenance house that was easy to clean, so concrete was used for the floors and benchtops. The prefabricated sheets used for the walls reflected light throughout the rooms and corridors, while the dark ceilings reflect the colours of the outside. The tiled detailing contributes details of tonal depth, without distracting from the clean lines.

Dark Horse Sees Architecture Architecture Create The Fullest Expression Of The Original Brief Through Intelligent Spatial Planning
Laundry, And The Staircase In A Condensed Block That Avoids Unnecessarily Consuming Valuable Space
The architects added the white powder coated steel perforated out steel triangles to add detail and help with the sense of light and spatial generosity.
Dining, And Kitchen Opening Up Into One Large Open Area
Helps Provides Natural Light And Ventilation

Moving upstairs, the design addresses the desire for the bedroom spaces to have a much warmer palette, and the clients’ wish for a timbered log cabin aesthetic. The various timber grains add texture, and the pale green curtains are reflective of the surrounding environment with ample greenery.

And A Considered Balance Between Light And Dark.
The Result Is A Worker’s Cottage Redefined For Contemporary Living.
However, The New Build Needed To Continue The Heritage Worker's Cottage Façade On The Street Due To Council Regulation
With Architecture Architecture’s Dark Horse Project, The Simple Brief For A Two Storey, Two Bedroom House Is Expanded Into Something Much More
The architects wanted to ensure the house was expansive within the fundamentals of natural light and ventilation. The staircase presents a “little snorkel” in providing light and airflow to the centre of the house.
Exploring The Potential Of The Traditional Worker’s Cottage Aesthetic.
The Architects Used Thin Border Walls Of 15 Cm Thick Walls, Instead Of The Usual 30 Cm
The architects added sliding wooden vents for cooling, and to continue the aesthetics of detail throughout the house.
The Clients Sought A Low Maintenance House That Was Easy To Clean, So Concrete Was Used For The Floors And Benchtops

Dark Horse sees Architecture Architecture create the fullest expression of the original brief through intelligent spatial planning, a simple yet strong palette of internal materials, and a considered balance between light and dark. The result is a worker’s cottage redefined for contemporary living.

These Areas Can Operate Either As Separate Spaces, Or As One Large Space Thanks To The Sliding Doors That Connect Them
Published 22 August, 2019
Photography  Peter Bennetts
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