Second chance for a city cottage

FRESH LOOK: A new addition brings light, space and special touch of personality to the Second Avenue property. Photos: Roger D'Souza
FRESH LOOK: A new addition brings light, space and special touch of personality to the Second Avenue property. Photos: Roger D'Souza

A little weatherboard cottage is what you see when you face this residence from its street in Perth.

But peeking up from the back is a new addition that brings light, space and special touch of personality to the property.

HIDDEN: The weatherboard frontage only hints at the new look of the rear.

HIDDEN: The weatherboard frontage only hints at the new look of the rear.

The Second Avenue alteration and addition was designed by Philip Stejskal Architecture.

In addition to taking into account a number of site-related features, the renovation also had to incorporate some unusual material.

The clients had a quantity of recycled bricks, salvaged with their own labour.

It was not enough to build an entire floor, but it was something they keenly desired to incorporate somewhere.

Another unusual factor was something the clients drew to the architects attention - he is an extrovert, while she is an introvert.

They wanted the house to reflect both aspects of their personalities, and offer spaces to meet each of their needs.

Other considerations were that the site was oriented diagonally to the north, making the management of light and heat slightly less straight forward.

Additionally, the block enjoyed city views from a higher level, and needed to address privacy issues from overlooking neighbours to the north-west.

The result is an addition that is separated from the existing cottage by a 'brick link' that creates pause between the two built elements - both spatial and chronological - and allowed the architects to tailor to the quantity of available salvaged bricks.

SALVAGED: Recycled bricks add warmth and personality.

SALVAGED: Recycled bricks add warmth and personality.

The addition consists of a timber-framed block (that met the clients' cost constraints), which is heavily carved into from its northern point, going west, creating a deep reveal that protects glazing from the summer sun.

The timber skeleton that remains along these edges is fitted with fins and battens to act as sun and privacy control.

Vegetation will be allowed to engulf this structure over time, connecting the garden and roof terrace.

Vegetation will be allowed to engulf this structure over time, connecting the garden and roof terrace.

The roof terrace is positioned and curtailed in response to overlooking restrictions, yet manages to achieve an optimal orientation nonetheless, toward the Perth CBD.

The finished product has resulted in airy and light-filled extension with a focus on the verdant garden and borrowed vegetation further afield.

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