Published: July 17, 2019

Adelaide’s West End has been named by Lonely Planet as one of the coolest neighbourhoods in Australia, for many good reasons. It is a precinct that sees creativity flourish by harnessing the value of heritage and reimagining it for modern day.

City Cottage on Gray Street is a breathing example of this transformation through built architecture. Davis + Davis Architects flexed their adaptive design muscle, transforming the 1910 heritage stone cottage into a space centred around useability. Simple innovation-driven design principles brought the concept of turning a house into a home to life earning the architecture firm a commendation in the Residential Architecture Alts and Adds at the Australian Institute of Architects 2019 Architecture Awards. 


The original façade was preserved and revitalised with the introduction of a coreten planter. The glimpse of greenery in continued throughout the refreshed interiors with feature plants and a courtyard which houses the same planters. 


The cottage presents the possibilities of compact living. The team at Davis + Davis focused on the optimisation of natural light to ensure that the spaces available were multi-functional and adaptable. 


The finishing results highlight how Adelaide’s built landscape is adaptable and designed for life; one that can evolve in a sustainable way and continually enrich the quality of life for its people through human-centric design.

A tour of the stunning one-bedroom workers cottage with Davis + Davis Architects ran as a part of the Festival of Architecture and Design. This year’s Festival theme was ‘Ideas of Home’, exploring what this means to designers and how this translates to value for residents and the broader community.

Images by Sam Noonan