Harriet's House

Located in Launceston, Tasmania, this Georgian-style cottage has been given a contemporary extension by local architecture studio So Architecture. The 50-square-metre addition has been designed as a sanctuary, making the most of a small backyard lot, overlooked by terraces on either side.



Inside it provides a living, dining and kitchen area looking out towards a back garden, as well as a space for the client, an architectural historian called Harriet, to work.

“The architecture employs thick brick, service and storage walls to edit the neighbouring properties and focus the plan towards the garden,” explains So Architecture associate Liz Walsh. The brick interior matches that of the exterior, and pays homage to Launceston’s traditional architecture and the retrained Georgian-style architecture of the existing cottage.

“The material had to speak to the existing fabric of the cottage, which comprises a rusticated stone base and brick, rendered to the street and painted to the garden,” Walsh explains. “The fine corbeling around the windows and red brick datum reference the cottage’s formal Georgian facade.”

Red brickwork on the floor creeps up the floor to create a low base, which is topped by pale, sandy-coloured bricks with a subtle textural finish. The pale brick walls and redbrick datum and floor have been left exposed on the interior of Harriet’s House, contrasted by the rough masonry of an existing fireplace.

Above, thin timber slats line the barrel-vaulted ceiling, with a skylight illuminating the kitchen counters. A large high-level window draws light into the back of the plan.

Where the extension meets the existing cottage, a small entrance and a bathroom act as a buffer space while providing access to a “rainforest garden” along the side of the home. A large sliding door leads out onto the brick-paved garden patio, where the sloping garden can be traversed via a weathered-steel staircase.

“On a micro level Harriet’s desire for privacy, sanctuary and retreat drove the project from the beginning,” explains Liz Walsh. The result is an inner-city cottage with the privacy and atmosphere of a quieter place.

Location Launceston, Tasmania
Architect So Architecture
Photography So Architecture

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