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Cottage with Colored Glass Walls and Pre-existing Trees

The textured glass walls line the east and west boundaries of the Raven Street house in Fortitude Valley, Queensland, Australia, bringing a traditional design aesthetic into the new addition of this typical workers cottage. James Russell Architect chose to use the traditional colored glass and iron-bark timbers of the area when expanding the cottage to respect the Victorian core of the original residence. Combining the traditional elements with more modern ones offers the residence the best of both worlds and creates a cozy and warm home environment rich with color, texture and functionality.

The Iron-bark walls and green distressed dining table keep the cottage flavor strong against the pale laminate flooring. The addition of nostalgic chairs and whimsical artwork allow the room to have a vibrancy that is only further enhanced by the colored glass on the opposite wall.
The wall of books next to the dining and kitchen area appears to “frame” a tree that just happens to be growing within the addition. The concept of keeping pre-existing trees within the framework of the extension is a beautiful way to pay homage to the natural landscape.
The library is extensive and a small table for four offers the perfect place to while away the hours within the pages of a favorite read.
Looking into the social zone, the contrast between the pale flooring and dark timbered ceiling creates a cozy environment that is enhanced by the “lived in” aesthetic of nostalgic and vintage pieces. Creating an ensemble of mismatched dining chairs adds to the homey feel of the space as does the walls of books.
Just outside the social zone is a framed in terrace that also just happens to have its own tree growing within. Flanked on one side with dark timber, and on the other with colored glass, the space is kept private while the other two walls of glass and open ceiling keep the area flooded with light while also allowing the view of the gardens beyond to enter the social zone.
Above the garden side of the sunroom is a covered mezzanine area that looks across to the Master Bedroom.
The Master Bedroom is wrapped in natural airflow both from the headboard wall and from the railing that overlooks the terrace below. Adding to the charm of the space is the wall of colored and textured glass that define the ensuite area.
The ensuite can be separated from the Master Bedroom by a curtain for privacy if so desired, but it can also be left open. Within the ensuite a rainshower is centrally located for a luxurious and spacious spa like experience and the iron-bark flooring has slatted edges to allow the rain and water to fall through to the landscape below.
The sink area also has a faucet mounted on the wall below the windows when a complete shower experience is not required. Both the ensuite and the bedroom are fitted with awnings as protection from south western storms and winter winds.
Access to the upper volume is through a stairwell located in the enclosed side of the addition. The hallway and stairwell are easily accessible from the terrace as well as from the lower social zone and the corridor offers privacy from the residence next door. The colored glass wall also offers privacy from the residence on the other side.
The glass wall creates an artistic statement that the neighbor can thoroughly enjoy from their vantage point.
The glass wall continues past the extension to create a private walkway straight past the original cottage to the street beyond.
From the street the addition is barely visible. Only the stairwell corridor extends past the home behind the carport but with the dark timber cladding it keeps the cottage’s secret of the spacious and colorful addition.
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Even from inside the original cottage, the extension is visible at the end of the hall, but does not appear out of place. The original cottage operates as a gallery and workspace while the new addition in the distance is the where the homeowners live their private lives.
A ceiling void within the original home offers a peak of the Master Suite above.
The continuation of vintage style artwork within the original cottage and the new addition create a visual connection and the choice to go from light walls within the original space to dark timbers within the addition is a dramatic way to highlight the differences of the two zones.
James Russell Architecture
Photos by Toby Scott


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