Alexandra Buchanan Architecture

Hawthorn House

This little gem of a project in the inner Melbourne suburb of Hawthorn is an alteration and addition to a Single fronted Victorian Cottage

Hawthorn House is an extension to this 1890’s single-fronted, weatherboard cottage in Hawthorn, Melbourne, an exercise in clever, compact planning that seamlessly weaves together traditional and contemporary architecture.

The extension preserves the scale, materiality and character of the traditional Victorian frontage whilst introducing an elegant two-storey extension to the rear.
A delicate screen of vertical timbers tempers light, view and privacy to create the characteristic ‘veil’ that encloses the upper level bedroom suite. The rhythmic timber screen becomes a unifying design element that extends into the interior in the form of a staircase balustrade. The balustrade screen visually animates an otherwise muted interior sensitively set within the historic shell.

Light wells distributed across the roof plan sun-wash walls and flood the open planned interior with natural light. Double height spaces, established above the staircase and dining room table, create volumetric interest. Improved visual connections to the back garden evoke a sense of spatial generosity that far exceeds the modest dimensions of the home’s interior footprint.

Project details

“Use of skylights to bring in natural light, together with high ceilings makes our family room feel really spacious and is a lovely place for us all to spend time as a family”
“ABA’s selection of finishes for bench tops and cabinets has been commented on by nearly every visitor who has come to look at our renovation, we have been so very pleased with what ABA have done. We love our new home!”

Initial Explorations

Exploring a number of initial options relating the garden edge of this Hawthorn Cottage worked through single and double storey solutions with varying degrees of connectivity and openness.

Dissecting the form

Due to proximity to neighbours, overlooking and respect for adjacent neighbours natural light we played with a range of architectural forms and setbacks.

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