Grotto Studio Shadow House Australian Architecture Photo Jack Lovel Yellowtrace 01

Grotto Studio Shadow House Australian Architecture Photo Jack Lovel Yellowtrace 02

Grotto Studio Shadow House Australian Architecture Photo Jack Lovel Yellowtrace 03

Grotto Studio Shadow House Australian Architecture Photo Jack Lovel Yellowtrace 05

 

Grotto Studio Shadow House Australian Architecture Photo Jack Lovel Yellowtrace 06

Grotto Studio Shadow House Australian Architecture Photo Jack Lovel Yellowtrace 10

Grotto Studio Shadow House Australian Architecture Photo Jack Lovel Yellowtrace 07

Grotto Studio Shadow House Australian Architecture Photo Jack Lovel Yellowtrace 09

 

Shadows are usually black, right? Dark, ominous and somewhat mysterious. White, classic and very well put together, this 1900s cottage, named Shadow House, is everything you’d expect to see from a traditional little home—a wrap-around front porch, bullnose verandah, timber facade detailing and some very cute proportions. That said, this house in particular, has a looming mass behind it… its very own shadow.

Sitting along a residential street in Bayswater, Western Australia, Grotto Studio’s latest project is a two-parter. It takes an existing traditional cottage and partners it with a dark, moody addition in a project that celebrates the two harmoniously working together.

Wrapped in charred jarrah timber, the darker addition “gracefully recedes into the background, allowing the original cottage to maintain its prominence and heritage within the streetscape,” shares director of Grotto Studio, Craig Nener.

 

Grotto Studio Shadow House Australian Architecture Photo Jack Lovel Yellowtrace 14

Grotto Studio Shadow House Australian Architecture Photo Jack Lovel Yellowtrace 12

Grotto Studio Shadow House Australian Architecture Photo Jack Lovel Yellowtrace 18

Grotto Studio Shadow House Australian Architecture Photo Jack Lovel Yellowtrace 19

Grotto Studio Shadow House Australian Architecture Photo Jack Lovel Yellowtrace 16

Grotto Studio Shadow House Australian Architecture Photo Jack Lovel Yellowtrace 17

 

“[We] drew inspiration from the Jungian concept of the shadow-self”, says Craig, explaining how the ideology “represents unconscious thoughts and feelings that may be socially unacceptable or misaligned with one’s self-image”. For this pristine white cottage, a dark, contemporary mass that towers over the site was its ‘shadow-self’. “Incorporating several locally-sourced materials and bespoke design elements, [the addition] enhances the [existing house’s] depth and complexity”, explains Craig. Through this, the addition brings to some life some wonderfully hidden aspects of the already established residence.

Housing the kitchen, living room, dining area, and a studio bedroom with private courtyard, the addition is the public heart of the home, previously missing from the original cottage. While remaining single storey in height, the charred jarrah-clad shadow form reaches for the sky. It’s raked roofline captures the morning sun and draws in light through tall, high windows. Various jacaranda trees outside are framed, forming part of the interior landscape.

At sundown, the living room glows with the warmth of the sun bouncing off the acacia birch-lined plywood ceiling, and suddenly, this seemingly dark ominous addition becomes the holder of some very warm life. Light tones throughout the key living areas embed a sense of lightness and spirit that is typically associated with many contemporary Australian homes today.

 

Grotto Studio Shadow House Australian Architecture Photo Jack Lovel Yellowtrace 23

Grotto Studio Shadow House Australian Architecture Photo Jack Lovel Yellowtrace 33

Grotto Studio Shadow House Australian Architecture Photo Jack Lovel Yellowtrace 32

Grotto Studio Shadow House Australian Architecture Photo Jack Lovel Yellowtrace 24

Grotto Studio Shadow House Australian Architecture Photo Jack Lovel Yellowtrace 27

Grotto Studio Shadow House Australian Architecture Photo Jack Lovel Yellowtrace 29

Grotto Studio Shadow House Australian Architecture Photo Jack Lovel Yellowtrace 30

Grotto Studio Shadow House Australian Architecture Photo Jack Lovel Yellowtrace 37

Grotto Studio Shadow House Australian Architecture Photo Jack Lovel Yellowtrace 38

Grotto Studio Shadow House Elevation Concept Yellowtrace 39Grotto Studio’s ‘Shadow house’ concept is illustrated in this simple drawing.

 

 

So now we know what lies inside this very dark, mysterious addition, but what happens inside the pristine white cottage? Housing two bedrooms, bathrooms, a rumpus and a laundry, this area is where all the private living happens. Secluded from the addition, this seemingly light, airy cottage is a dark cave, designed for rest and rejuvenation.

A delightfully warm jarrah timber clads not only the joinery, but several walls, resulting in a deep red space worthy of retreating into. Paired with raw materials and carefully curated lighting, there’s almost something shadow-like about the interiors of the existing cottage.

It was through this “contrasting across old and new [that we] created a multitude of atmospheric spaces,” says Craig. Shadow House is a peculiar project. It’s a home that heroes the shadow, bringing the dark into the limelight.

 

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