Brunswick Lean-To | Blair Smith Architecture

  • Brunswick Lean-To | Blair Smith Architecture
  • Projects - December 2020
  • ARCHITECT Blair Smith Architecture
  • STYLING Jessica Lillico
  • BUILDER Cale Peters Constructions

Contemporary design meets practicality in Blair Smith Architecture's Brunswick lean-to project

This addition to a heritage listed cottage in Brunswick, Melbourne, is product of an ongoing conversation Blair Smith had with the clients on the ways their life can be enriched through a modest architectural intervention. The new build was limited to a footprint of only fifty one square metres and is positioned on site in a way that would retain their edible garden.


“In my very first conversation with a couple based in Brunswick about a small addition to their cottage, they spoke of looking forward to the design process with equal measure to moving into the finished house. This sentiment was indication of what would soon become a heart-warming and fulfilling procurement journey, enhanced through the introduction of a meticulous young builder who slotted into our personal dynamic beautifully.


When friendships are formed via an architectural commission, those involved see the building through a different lens to others…this physical thing becomes more than the grain in the timber cladding or a shadow that moves across the floor, it is imbued with the spirit of your collective aspirations.” Says Blair Smith.

The new building takes formal and programmatic cues from the dilapidated lean-to structure it replaces. Atypical to most inner-city extensions, the original lounge room within the cottage is retained as the main living area, meaning that the footprint of the contemporary addition could be minimised.

Lighting included

Masson for Light ‘Tullyspot’; Ross Gardam Polar Wall Light; Ross Gardam Silhouette Wall Light; Flos Mini Glo-Ball from Euroluce; vintage pendant restored by owner.

The northern façade is characterised by three sliding timber screens on a single track. The screens have numerous purposes…they control heat gain, glare and offer an increased level of privacy to surrounding development. Each screen has an integrated fly-screen and can be locked across a dedicated doorway, allowing the occupants to leave the house on hot days while it is secure and passively cooled. In turn, each screen has a dedicated portion of solid wall for it to be parked on, so that views and light can be completely unobstructed if required.

This project forms a part of the practice’s ongoing investigation into a sensitive approach to small footprint residential regeneration.

Blair Smith Architecture

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