Contemporary Australian home renovation by Luigi Rosselli Architects
Located in Clontarf, New South Wales, Australia, a bland, solid 3 storey brick house built between the late 1950s and early 1960s was in desperate need of a makeover. Luigi Rosselli Architects transformed the old building into a brilliant contemporary Australian house bearing all the studio’s signature hallmarks: the sandstone base, the whitewashed walls, and the aerofoil vertical louvres placed next to “log-cabin” exterior wall cladding.
The front of the house features another Luigi Rosselli Architects key element - a lightwell containing an elliptical stair - framed by the sandstone Martello Tower* entry porch that, in its “partially ruined” state, opens up to the horizontal whitewashed concrete beams and roof lines that complete the new street elevation.
The project’s name was inspired by the small defensive forts built across the British Empire during the 19th century, as Luigi Rosselli explained: “Sometimes known simply as Martellos, Martello Towers are small defensive forts that were built across the British Empire during the 19th century, from the time of the French Revolutionary Wars onwards. Most were coastal forts.”
Gentle alterations to the existing house have left 95 percent of the original structure standing including the 1950s sandstone fireplace in the lounge, while the additions to the front of the house and the new lower ground floor level at the back have enlivened its somewhat bland appearance.
Internally, the interiors created by Romaine Alwill incorporated the client’s favourite Mediterranean Blue color into a timeless palette to create a comfortable and contemporary family home that is ready to survive another 50 years.
Photography by: Justin Alexander & Edward Birch