Home to a young family of three, this 100-year-old worker’s cottage in Melbourne’s Yarraville was renovated recently in a process that saw many of the original materials included in the stylish result.
“The owners wanted to reuse original materials where appropriate and took a very hands-on approach, performing much of the demolition themselves! They wanted to discover what was there and they didn’t want anything of value to go into landfill,” says architect James Goodlet of Alter Eco Design.
The renovation entailed restoring the front portion of the home and adding a small addition to the rear making it a much more functional abode where natural light is now in abundance. “The home is a good example of how comfortable and liveable a tight and compact space can be,” says James.
Gorgeous details abound and the home now sports paving made from the home’s original bluestone foundations and a feature wall constructed from the original red bricks found in the demolition. “We employed a savvy design approach that enables passive heating and cooling inside. Not only does the red brick wall create a pleasing aesthetic, it performs as a thermal mass for the building,” says James of the wall that extends from inside to the outdoor courtyard.
Aside from the eco-credentials of the brick wall, the home also boasts a green roof for insulation complete with eco-friendly native plants. “When it came to the great outdoors, water wise and native plants were used in the garden beds and all of of this was topped off with an insulating green roof,” says James.
The home’s roof garden can be seen from the original hallway at the front of the home, due to a cleverly placed window. “The hallway is now north facing onto the roof garden which allows natural light into an otherwise dark space,” says James.
Overall, the project ticked many a green box and it’s something that James is proud of, given sustainability is integral to his design ethos. “This industrious approach to building and design reduces the associated wasted energy (often synonymous with demolishing the old and building something shiny, modern and new), all the while successfully preserving and celebrating the charm that comes with a house of this era.”
Photography: Nikole Ramsay | Styling: Emma O’Meara