East Fremantle, WA, Australia
The brief for King George by Robeson Architects called for a modern working family home that would be respectful of the much-adored heritage cottage yet provide additions that were functional and exciting.
True to the brief there were minimal interventions to the heritage cottage. Robeson Architects inserted skylights to the hallway, converted the existing run-down kitchen and bathroom into a larger family sized bathroom, powder room, and laundry, and reinstated the original bull nose veranda. Heritage Architect, Phillip Griffith, was engaged and his recommendations were adopted.
The only alteration to the existing external walls was to widen an existing opening to form the link to the new works. New building walls were then tucked under the existing eaves.
A kitchen, courtyard, office, garage, upper floor bedroom and en suite comprise the new spaces created by Robeson Architects.
A mixed-use zoning allows the office and bedroom suite above to leased out in the future if desired. The ground floor office had to relate in scale and form to the neighboring commercial tenancies on George Street. Quality materials with reference to the existing vernacular of the area was crucial in maintaining George Street’s character.
The angled parapet of the office references the original cottage’s roof line; a suppression of building height through the center of the site rises across George Street to align with the commercial parapets to the east. Materiality links the project to its context; red face brickwork picks up on existing tuck pointing, and the concrete lintels a modern interpretation of the cottages lintels. Three-toned glazed red brickwork laid in an somber pattern wraps around the office, a play on the heritage reds of the cottage. The charcoal aluminium cladding above was intended to recess into the background, allowing the street level scale to dominate.
Key to the brief was a sense of spaciousness on the small site. Sight lines from the entry through the courtyard to the ROW was a key design move. A dropped dark ceiling forms the transition from the cottage into the higher ceiling of the kitchen
Level thresholds and matching floor finishes run from kitchen through to courtyard. Storage insertions into the existing bedrooms modernise the home respectfully; the robes do not abut existing surfaces.
Landscape was envisioned as an extension to the architecture. Architects, CAPA, crafted various insertions; reflection pond, concrete BBQ plinth (a literal extension of the ground floor slab) and landscaping.
Jack Flanagan, furniture designer, was engaged to create a sculptural metal base to the freestanding marble dining table, which was designed to link into the fixed cabinetry.
Steele & Co steel fabricators collaborated in the design of the 3 of 8 vertical fins filtering western sun to the upper bedroom and other custom steel elements.
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