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St. Kilda Cottage House by Jost Architects

This is a lovely cottage-style house with white shiplap exterior walls and white wooden fences adorned with potted plants and a tree.

We took a classic weatherboard cottage located in St Kilda with a council Heritage Overlay and removed the previous 1980s extension to the rear. The two front bedrooms and bathroom on the ground floor, being part of the original main area of the house, was retained.

The planning restraints meant that careful consideration was given to how the upper-level area of the addition sat within the streetscape. The current ground floor footprint was utilized without pushing further back into the rear of the small site of 140m2. The brief was to add a primary bedroom, ensuite, WIR and an east-facing deck on the upper level and to refurbish the ground floor bathroom, new kitchen and to utilize the small area of land to the northeast. This is where things got interesting.
Because the site tapered, becoming narrower to the rear and the proposed building was to utilize

this valuable unused space, it meant that none of the gutter line, roof ridge and internally, the ceiling and wall junctions were parallel to each other or horizontal. The geometry applied ensured that the upper-level façades presented symmetrically to each end of the property. A couple of the builder’s carpenters who set out the framing had minor existential crises. Ironically, all this was very carefully worked out so no one would actually notice the unusual form.

It was a deliberate decision to make the new additions visibly contemporary in contrast to the existing dwelling but not move too far away from the original. The galvanized custom orb cladding wraps up one side, over and down on the other, intersecting with the weatherboard cladding. Both familiar materials found on the classic Victorian workers’ cottages found in this part of St Kilda.
This abstract level 1 form envelopes the screened internal space creating areas of visual permeability which becomes an active and changing façade depending on the time of day, conditions and lighting.

The internal planning was extremely important as there was no room to build further back to increase the internal area of the house without severe detriment to the very small rear yard. With this setback maintained, the internal planning was crucial to improve the functional layout and also fit in a stair to access the upper addition.

Some of these methods included introducing a banquette seat to the front of the kitchen bench which freed up valuable living space. The laundry is located in the hallway at the top of the stairs. The front-facing roof deck is accessed from here and returning back along with the stair void you enter the primary bedroom. Beyond is the rear deck which is curtained by the operable aluminium screen that not only provides privacy but protection from the western summer sun.

Returning back to the east, takes you through the walk-in robe, into the ensuite and back out to the eastern deck. Using room to room movement in the “doughnut” plan reduces the extent of a wasted egress area, more comfortable spaces as well as allowing excellent cross ventilation to all of the upper rooms.
The existing rooms were refurbished retaining their original features and trims with new contemporary fixtures and fittings that are aesthetically appropriate.

The interior finishes are selected to be honest to the raw textures and colours of the materials employed. The detail is careful and clean but controlled and practical. This detail was also very important to the client which delivered a combination of sensibility and functionality which won’t date.

Sustainable applications included long-lasting and durable materials such as decorative concrete with zoned hydronic heating, thermally broken aluminium and narrow profile steel frame double glazed windows and sliding doors. The upper level overhangs the west-facing off the lower living room which negated the requirement for air conditioning. The sensible application of good thermally passive design, energy-efficient lighting and fixtures coupled with a 2.6kW PV system provides for comfortable living at a low environmental and financial cost.

The result is a unique and subtle addition that compliments the existing heritage dwelling and a home that is enjoyable to live in!

Location: Clyde St, St Kilda, Victoria, Australia
Architect: Jost Architects
Interior: Jost Architects
Builder: Prolifica Building Co
Photographs: Shani Dodson
Construction Budget: $675,000

Fittings, Fixtures & Finishes
External Cladding
Weatherboard cladding: Weathertex 200mm Classic Weatherboard smooth cladding system
Fascia cladding: James Hardie “Exo-tec” Cement Sheet cladding system
Upper-level infill cladding: James Hardie “Easylap” cement sheet cladding system
Metal Roof & Cladding: Lysaght Galvanised Custom Orb metal sheet

Window Frames
Ground floor windows: Aplo steel framed double glazed steel window system
Level 1 Windows: AWS Residential thermally broken double glazed window system
Skylights: Velux fixed Double glazed skylight system

Feature Lighting
Kitchen: Dowel Jones King Dome Three-Point Pendant light
Hallway: Large Bellis Pendant Light with chain from Schots
Stair Void: Brightgreen W900 SX Curve LED Wall light
Bathroom ground: Volker Haug Wall Step
Bathroom ground: Eurlouce Duomo Small Wall Light
Ensuite: Anaesthetic Duomo Small Wall Light

Living: Haiku Series 60 from Big Ass Fans

Interior Finishes
Joinery: Laminex white with black and white edging

Timber Flooring: Australian Sustainable Hardwoods “Australian Oak” Engineered Select Grade

Bathroom Floor Tiles: Carrara Octagon 48mm & Nero Dot 15 x 10mm marble mosaic from Marble &  Ceramic Corp
Ensuite & Laundry splashback: Carrara Hexagonal Honed Marble Mosaic from Marble & Ceramic Corp
Ensuite: Carrara Honed Subway Tile 305×75
Polished Concrete: Helicopter polished concrete with matt finished

Kitchen: Carrara Marble
Laundry, Bathroom & ensuite: Corian “ Glacier white” with shark nose edge profile

Kitchen Appliances & Fixtures
Cooktop: Miele Induction cooktop
Oven: Miele BP Cleansteel Oven
Rangehood: Falmec Milano 90 Concealed Rangehood
Dishwasher: Fisher Paykel Integrated Single DishDrawer
Fridge/Freezer: Fisher Paykel ActiveSmart Fridge 900mm French Door
Sink: Blanco SUBLINE500U Single bowl undermount sink
Tapware: Astra Walker Icon Kitchen Mixer with square line spout

Vanity basin: Stonebaths S3 Benchtop Natural Stone Basin
Ensuite vanity tapware: Astra Walker Icon Matt Black Wall Set
Ensuite Shower Head 7 mixer: Astra Walker ceiling-mounted Shower Arm & 200mm Rose & Icon

Matt Black Wall Mixer
Bath mixer: Astra Walker floor mounted spout & mixer
Bath: Stonebaths 1500mm Justina Freestanding Stone Bath
Toilets: Geberit Hatria Fusion Wall Faced Toilet Suite
Bathroom vanity tapware: Brodware Yokato Wall Set
Bathroom: Brodware Yokato Exposed Overhead Shower Set with Hand Shower & Knurled Levers
Robe hook: Brodware Yokato