Dolls House

A low cost renovation to a tiny workers cottage, dubbed the 'dolls house' by neighbours at only 3.5m wide. Retaining the original brick portion of the house and then extending the house to connect with the rear laneway. Two courtyards provide the interior with direct connection to a garden whilst generating a continuous and connected series of living spaces.

The courtyard walls are angled to further enhance the external volumes, breaking down the linearity of the narrow site. They are designed to daylight and ventilate the interior, acting as additional circulation zones and open the interior to the garden creating constant views to and through the entire length of the house, making their open spaces appear as part of the interior.

Views to other rooms - which are all similar in terms of materiality and colour - make all the spaces seem connected, which in turn makes them look and feel bigger than they are.

Retaining the existing structure of the house and fabric of the interior -exposing the existing brick wall, previous plasterwork and sketches made on the walls during construction give a visual memory of the existing workers cottage providing a context for the home.

Raw and untreated finishes create a grit that compliments the owner's desire for an uncomplicated living arrangement. A rustic yet industrial, functional yet whimsical atmosphere is created through the mix of high and low objects and materials.


Photographer: Fraser Marsden