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Modern additions cleverly expand a postwar cottage

More spaces for living—and connecting with the garden

A glass-enclosed walkway connects a low-slung traditional cottage with a new pitch-roofed addition with a glass wall, which reveals a bedroom inside. Derek Swalwell

Renovating a home doesn’t always mean demolishing it. In the case of this cozy cottage in Canberra, Australia, updating was all about smart and subtle expansion. Austin Maynard Architects worked to retain the postwar cottage’s charm, while adding on more livable spaces for a young family.

The answer was building two adjacent pavilions on the property that are linked to the original structure by glass-enclosed walkways. The designers updated the main house, putting in new windows that allow sight lines to the new additions. The resulting spaces separate the kitchen, master bedroom, and living room.

A slanted-roof home addition clad in white metal panels is attached to another portion of the home through glass corridors. Derek Swalwell
A woman walking from kitchen to main house under skylights. Derek Swalwell

The kitchen and dining area were moved out of the main house and into a new structure with tall, slanted ceilings and tons of natural light.

A kitchen with slanted wood ceiling and skylights contains black cabinetry and open shelving. Derek Swalwell

The master bedroom now resides in its ow pavilion, featuring a large glass wall that looks out onto the garden.

A white backyard addition with a large glass wall overlooking the garden. Derek Swalwell

Both additions were finished in handmade metal shingles that are designed to fit with the existing look of the cottage. Together, the cluster of buildings create an airy, window-filled home that hug the lush backyard garden.