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A white and timber theme living area with wood burning stove and potted plants
A woman is seen walking down the main stairs of the Weathertex-clad building.
The view of the building exterior where the woman is standing on the balcony made of weathertex cladding and recycled bricks

An existing inner city residence sitting above a violin shop in Collingwood, Victoria was renovated and extended to provide a sustainable and sunllt retreat for the shop owners. The old fashioned, cold and lacklustre home has been replaced with a warm, bright home with two decks and a roof top entertainers deck. It’s rare for this type of building to have access to outdoor space but this home now provides spaces to enjoy a morning coffee in the sun or a rooftop space to grow plants and entertain guests.

View of the cork floor planks in the hallway and a clear Sunlite polycarbonate roof
A timber living area beside the glass window while a woman walking downstairs

Designed by Tsai Design, the levels are connected via a central stairwell with a translucent and insulated roof which floods the home with sunlight and views to the sky above. A greenwall has been installed to provide further connection with the outdoors, which makes the home feel like a flood-lit courtyard.

Cork flooring has been used in the open plan kitchen, dining room and lounge room, which provides the home with excellent thermal and acoustic properties, plus it’s also easy to maintain, warm to touch, hypoallergenic and feels great to walk on.

Open timber framed glass door with potted pants and a mini side table with chair
Close-up view of the timber dining set and a stairway leading to the rooftop
A sofa and timber bookshelves in the reading nook

Sustainability specs:
– Recycled timber used internally
– Weathertex cladding used externally, Platinum Greentag certified
– Cork floor planks, biodegradable and recyclable
– Insulated extensively in ceiling, walls and floor
– Recycled bricks
– Self engaged door seals installed to base of all doors
– Double glazed skylights
– Clear Sunlite multiwall polycarbonate sheet over stair void
– Timber framed, double glazed windows with FSC certified timber frames
– 2000L rainwater tank
– Water efficient tapwear installed throughout
– Vertical green wall installed in stair void

Sunlite polycarbonate roofing near the stairs with hanging light bulbs
Timber rooftop with potted plants and a view of nearby buildings
Cooking area with a sustainable kitchen countertop
Sustainable home bathroom area with a timber vanity top
Weathertex exterior cladding view from a distance when lights are on
From the architect:

Typical of these shopfront terraces, the floor plan was long, dark and narrow – just 4.5m across at its widest point. Bringing light to the heart of the home would be central to the new design’s success. To address the apartments shading the full length of the building to the north, we overhauled the central stairwell, introducing a translucent roof that would flood the living space with light and warmth.

Images courtesy of Tsai Design. Photography by Tess Kelly

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