A small house in an urban space becomes welcoming cottage linked to nature.

The owner of this compact house from a Sydney suburb hired Anita Panov and Andrew Scott of local architecture firm Panovscott to transform the structure into a welcoming home for his countryside-loving mother. Located in a densely populated urban neighborhood, the 1980s dwelling featured a limited footprint comparable to the surrounding houses. The architects decided to maintain the structure’s size but expand and modernize the living spaces in a more creative way.

On the facade, the team replaced the previous cladding with exposed sand-stock brick. Beautifully textured and full of character, this material not only enhances the building’s organic quality, it also complements the preserved stone foundation. The exposed bricks will weather in time and blend into the setting further. A large window allows the inhabitants to connect the interior to the neighborhood, while the sliding cedar screen with slatted elements provides privacy when needed.

The centerpiece of the entire project, a large courtyard brings a bit of nature into the urban environment. A deck area offers the perfect solution for an outdoor dining space, while paved pathways lead visitors alongside greenery to various areas of the house. A large concrete fireplace with a monolithic design stands out in the courtyard. Sliding glass doors link rooms with this serene outdoor area. To make the most of the compact footprint, the studio changed the distribution of the living spaces. Now, the bedrooms provide more privacy and seclusion at the rear of the building. At the same time, the socializing spaces overlook both the street and the courtyard.

Glass doors slide open to offer natural ventilation as well as easy access to the outdoors. Skylights bring more sunshine inside the rooms. Throughout the interior, the architects used a blend of natural light and high-quality materials to create a welcoming and bright atmosphere. These include warm wooden flooring, white walls, and neutrally colored furniture. Photographs© Murray Fredericks.

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