When renovating a small cottage in Abbotsford, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia, architect Anna Rozen was placed in an unfamiliar role: client. She had moved into the home with a number of objectives, including maintaining its history while creating a polished space, but she also wanted to build a happy sanctuary for her two young children.
Rozen began by connecting the main living space and the rear garden with an expansive wall of windows. Then she moved on to outlining the open living room, kitchen, and dining area, and made sure to include hardy materials like concrete that'll stand up to hours of playtime. And since she wanted a minimalist aesthetic, the kitchen's appliances and storage were integrated into a timber-wrapped box to hide any clutter.
To retain property's historic character, the architect used original and recycled brick as primary features. But she added materials such as timber, raw concrete, and black anodized aluminum to really pay tribute to the neighborhood's past. "The materials are a reference to the area's industrial legacy and contrast with the 'shininess' of the surrounding gentrification," Rozen said. Now that her design goals are met and her family's needs are answered, Rozen can enjoy her work from a new title: homeowner.