Historic renovation and addition to 1897 limestone worker’s cottage

Historic renovation and addition to 1897 limestone worker’s cottage

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Looking at this1897 limestone workers cottage
in Western Australia, it seems as if it must have been perfectly preserved over its 100-year
plus history. So it comes as a bit of a shock to see that
this was what it actually looked like until recently. It was in a dilapidated state … had had
several layers of render applied over time … plus a lean-to structure had been added
to the house many years ago. On the positive side, its new owners obviously
saw the potential it presented … though its heritage listing meant there were some
stringent restrictions when it came to renovating and extending it. It was only one room deep … and any addition
had to be complementary … but with a clear separation physically and aesthetically. Project director Adrian Fratelle of Ecohabit
Homes achieved this by building an entirely new house behind the cottage … creating
a blackwashed, cedar-clad building that now frames the cottage. The cottage renovation included rebuilding
the veranda … erecting new balustrading to give a sense of separation from the pavement
… and painting the woodwork a soft smokey blue shade. The space inside now functions as a home office
complete with sofa and wine cellar. The main entry to the new structure is down
a narrow path running alongside the cottage. It’s a very tight site, yet the clever design
allows the house to be opened to an outdoor living area on one side of the site .. … and even manages to include a raised plunge
pool at one end of the patio and a children’s play area the other. The success of this renovation project means
it now makes a considerable contribution to the historic nature of its neighbourhood … while
at the same time it unobtrusively provides all the conveniences you would expect for
modern family life.

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