A Worker’s Cottage Redesigned For Multigenerational Living

A Worker’s Cottage Redesigned For Multigenerational Living


by Amelia Barnes

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Hot Top Peak is a worker’s cottage redesigned for multigenerational living in busy Richmond, Melbourne.

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Stretched and elongated vistas through outdoor spaces create a sense of continuity, seamlessly integrating the landscaped areas with the interior.

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The lush courtyard is directly accessible from the kitchen and living area.

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The ‘backyard’ has been positioned to the east of the home.

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A bench seat in the new bedroom at the rear of the property.

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Joinery conceals the guest bedroom wing to the rear.

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The program is divided into two halves, each with its own design identity.

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The elongated shape of the site is artfully exploited in the plan, with the kitchen area serving as the pivotal element that connects the living and sleeping zones.

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The design showcases an effecting interplay of materials including contrasting timber, concrete, and light tones.

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Light assumes a crucial role, deftly harnessed to create varied moods and atmospheres throughout the residence.

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The guest bedroom fully opens to the outdoors as desired.

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This urban sanctuary feels worlds away from the busy streets outside.

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The bathrooms serve as an interpretation of the client’s cherished art pieces.

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These artful compositions become integral elements in the overall design, lending a unique character to each space.

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Laminex cabinetry in Persimmon. Two pack joinery in Dulux Seabrook. Ceasarstone Fresh Concrete benchtop. Perini Tiles. Signorino Honed Terrazzo Tiles.

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Colour emerges as a backdrop to showcase the client’s passion for vibrant art, infusing the residence with personality and charm.

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The worker’s cottage facade.

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The house occupies a 175 square site with dual street frontages.

Most contemporary renovations of Melbourne’s worker’s cottages feature an open-plan kitchen and living area that’s been added to the property’s rear.

Responding to the client’s request for their home to support potential multigenerational living and guest accommodation, ‘Hot Top Peak’ by Figr Architecture & Design takes a different approach.

In transforming the Richmond, Melbourne home, Figr removed a 1970s add-on and replaced it with a new 80 square metre addition.

The extension features a living area and kitchen, followed by a guest bedroom to the very rear. This unique layout offers flexibility and the potential for future adaptation, allowing the house to be divided into two separate ‘units’ sharing a central kitchen and dining zone.

‘The emphasis is on long-term occupation and the opportunity for the owner to generate income by compartmentalising the home,’ explains Figr director Michael Artemenko.

Rooms in the existing worker’s cottage portion of the house have been retained, benefiting greatly from their high ceilings and good-sized bedrooms.

The interior plaster walls were meanwhile stripped and replaced with new plasterboard sheeting and insulation, and existing single-glazed windows were replaced with those double glazed.

Contrasting materials define thresholds and guide inhabitants on a journey that converges in the heart of the home: the spotted gum-clad kitchen and dining zone. ‘It has a feel of tranquillity balanced with functionality that allows this element to be the pivoting point between the two parts of the home,’ says Michael.

Throughout the home, the architecture employs compression and release in volume, further instilling a sense of drama and anticipation within the space.

The bathrooms offer a clear point of difference, serving as an interpretation of the client’s vibrant art pieces.

Stretched and elongated vistas through to outdoor spaces create a sense of continuity, seamlessly integrating the landscaped areas with the interior.

Post-renovation, this worker’s cottage is now a completely different home that feels far removed from the busy streets outside.

‘Despite being located in a bustling inner-city area, the project has successfully provided our client with a remarkable sense of privacy and seclusion, enabling them to continue enjoying the benefits of urban living while relishing in a tranquil retreat,’ says Michael.

Through careful planning and thoughtful design, the home maximises its relatively small footprint to create a home that embodies flexibility, longevity, and adaptation.

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