November 22, 2018

An inner-city 1950’s worker’s cottage transformed into an urban oasis, as Öopenspace styles an extension finished in raw concrete and light-filled double volume spaces that harmonizes the old and the new.

Designed by Ferguson Architects, the extension alludes to a play of simple volumes that are juxtaposed with tapering skylights and an open-floor plan. The layout cleverly expand in the centre, giving airiness and light in what would be the darkest area of the house. This imbues the space with an introspective dimension, akin to that of an art gallery. It makes one look inward, yet upwards towards to the skylight.

Paying homage to the original front portion of the house, the styling objective was to breathe new life into the space whilst capturing the essence of the old. A selection of Danish-modern furniture captures this specific moment in time with a raw materiality.

The cottage opens up to an intimate front timber porch that overlooks the street with a pair of outdoor Maiori Club lounge chairs echos the purplish hue of the façade. Designed from France, these water resistant lounge chairs has a sofa-like quality that brings a plushness to outdoor seating unlike any other, and it has an integrated rain cover to boot.

What was the rear of the cottage had been transformed into a cozy sitting area, emphasizing the vertical space by removing the false ceiling and introducing a skylight. This give a further expanse to what would be a dark and dreary space.

In keeping to the lightness, we introduce bigger furniture pieces with light colors such as the Nord 3-seater and Sunday lounge chair, and to contrast with smaller elements of blacks with the black Poller coffee table, Tosta ladder shelf and Stilt side table.

The first bedroom retains the elements and details of the original cottage with the ornate cornices, fireplace and even the original brass light switch.

The Bowen kind bed brings a mid-century walnut element that is befitting, with the elegant Bok side table carved out of black oak. To bring it back to the future, we introduce modern elements such as the Ollie lounge chair and Chord shelf that gives an added dimension to the space.

Leading up to the main living room, we find a space that is unexpected, filled with volume and light. This is where the new extensions starts with a double volume void that allows light to stream from above. To retain the raw elements of the space & building requires a great restraint in limiting color and material palettes. We kept most of the furniture in the background, with blacks and neutral greys and to only highlight the key pieces with raw oak.

In this space, we have the EthnicraftMonolit tv-console with its minimially treated solid oak surface and metal frame. The Wendelbo Blade sofa and Chill lounge chairbrings an minimal elegance to the space with its simple forms, and complement it by stacking Bentu Kou concrete side table that acts as a series of shelves. Lastly, we add a dash of color with the soft blue Won Cross side table with a removable top that acts as a tray.

The space flows through with the dining and kitchen, leading towards another threshold with a study area before finally opening up to the courtyard.

In keeping to the same theme, black and neturals with highlights of the raw oaks, we bring the focus to the materiality of the building finishes and simple forms. We introduce the Ethnicraft Bok dining table and Bok chairs in black oak. This set of furniture brings a softness with its organic corners and shapes to what will otherwise be perceived as harsh and cold.

The Ethnicraft Oak Monolit side table brings out the raw elements of timber, paired with the EthnicraftKompagnon barcart that is a beautiful yet practical for any occasion.

The Ethnicraft UP study desk and EthnicraftFacette Chair in black oak, sits starkly against the concrete surfaces, retaining the raw sense of materiality with its minmimal palette.

The bathroom has an entire length of wall cladded in mirror, with exquisite concrete pendants and a concrete basin by Bentu Designs. The bathtub opens to a view of the courtyard with Maiori Greens plantersin the background. As a final touch, we further complement the space with Bentu concrete bathroom accessories.

A pattern of Bentu 3D concrete tiles adorn the rear courtyard wall. From the inside the house, the arrangement of tiles alludes to the extension of branches from the frangipani tree. In continuing the minimal palette, we selected the white MaioriKose outdoor chairs and MaioriA600 table in pure white, with a black outdoor solar lamp that sits in contrast on the table.

The master bedroom located upstairs is brilliantly spacious that allow a sitting and study area. We changed up the theme with a much lighter tone to imbue the room with a blond Scandinavian aesthetic. The Ethnicraft Air oak queen bed is paired with the disc side table, with the Pert velvet Sofa by Sketch sitting pretty in adjacent. Won Cross side tables are used once again but this time with a raw oak finish, with a full length Commune Dualtone Mirror with accented brass rods to hang one’s clothes.

The Stilt study desk & Mono chair by Won Design.

Looking out from the balcony, we see the clusters of established housing in the city fringes, many renovated or renewed. The benefits of infill housing cannot be overstated being a movement towards a more sustainable way of living. In doing so, we not only reduce suburban sprawl but we live better by commuting less, and living closer to places of work and union.


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