Sustainable, Stylish and Functional Urban Cottage


The client brief for the Urban Cottage project was to replace a rundown two bedroom miners’ cottage with a modern family home featuring a double garage and pool, whilst ensuring the façade reflected the history of the original cottage and to sit within the local streetscape.

The clients requested open plan living areas, with substantial space for a parent’s retreat, along with a covered outdoor area and low maintenance gardens. The site sits within an inner west suburb of Newcastle, formerly an industrial area but now popular with young professionals and families looking to live closer to the city.

The design solution delivered the main house containing open living, dining, kitchen, three bedrooms, main bathroom, laundry and double garage. A large parents retreat comprising of a combined spacious bedroom, lounge and sitting area, separate kitchen and generous ensuite located above the double garage, connects to the house via an internal stairway and features a separate entrance to enable the space to be utilised as self-contained guest lodging.

The street front facade reflects the original miners’ cottage with weatherboards, front porch and skillion roof while cladding and timber panelling reflect the contemporary style of the young family. Passive solar design was incorporated with north-oriented living, dining, kitchen areas featuring polished concrete slab for thermal mass.

Cross-ventilation has been incorporated into the design with strategic Breezway Louvre Window placement throughout. The seamless transition from indoor living areas to the covered outdoor entertaining area is achieved through the polished concrete slab and large sliding stacker doors with screens. The result is a deliberate and functional modern family home.

This project won a 2019 Building Designer Association of Australia Award for Small Lot Housing (up to 350sqm).

Building Designer: Andrew Wilson
Company: Bolster Building Design
Tel: 0408 696 440