Instead of extending this cottage in Australia, MO-DO architects added another standalone structure off the front and connected the two volumes with a tunnel- like passage. The renovation introduced natural lighting into the central part of the house which, up until the owners brought in MO-DO architects, stayed quite dark throughout the year.
The architects removed the rear lean-in and built an additional structure which contrasts the original structure in form and style, creating a clear distinction between the old and new. The new standalone volume opens the central part of the site to create a north-facing courtyard. Thanks to this intervention, the darkest spots of the front house are now bathed in natural light.
The new living room is nestled between the rear garden and the new courtyard, providing the owners with the access to two gardens. Four key elements dominate the property-the existing house in the front, the passage or Tunnel, the pavilion structure and the courtyards. Most of the front house was minimally altered.
Connecting the new living area and the pavilion, the passage was built using salvaged brick, used to visually compress the space before opening up into the light-filled living room. The brick also gives a sense of weight and density. Reminiscent of a park pavilion, the new structure houses the kitchen, dining area, living spaces, bathroom and laundry.
Four sliding doors connect the interior with the garden space that creates a feeling of openness and freedom in the summer. High windows and an asymmetrical butterfly roof further accentuate connection to the outdoors.
Photos by Peter Bennetts