residence at Mount Kembla NSW

alterations and additions


Mount Kembla village has the character and the atmosphere of a small mining village at the foot of the Illawarra escarpment, with distant views of the ocean. My client has lived in the existing 3 bedroom cottage for more than 35 years, and now her son, partner and their two children have joined her.

The cottage is sited on two residential blocks of established native garden and an in-ground pool area, beautifully sited on the western side of the cottage. The northern aspect of the cottage faces the street frontage, with no connections to the lovely garden and pool area.


To transform and extend the existing cottage, within a budget :

design process to project:

I was particularly sensitive to the long living family history on site, and the willingness to explore a new way of living by joining 3 generations under one roof. To my knowledge, this model of living is not common in a modern Australian social context, and will become one of the manifestations of “shared occupancy” concepts developed from sustainable development implementation strategies.

The challenges issued from the particularity of the site, and the brief, created a fertile ground for innovative and functional design. Over time, and through a careful process of listening, designing options, revising and developing, the final design provides the family with inspirational living spaces, in tune with the existing living spaces and connected to the garden and the poolside, but also connected to the sun path and the rhythm of the seasons.

client testimonial:

“We knew we were not looking for something ordinary. Nathalie has risen to the challenge admirably… Our new rooms with huge decks provide indoor and outdoor spaces which come together when the huge bi-fold doors are opened. Our existing living rooms are modified to create spacious living and retreat areas for me. Clever modification of internal space with redirection of two sets of stairs dramatically opens up our entry hall. We gain a new kitchen and dining room and more effectively link all parts of the house, including the pool area and garden, to allow us to live, play and entertain with activities flowing easily while keeping our bedroom areas separate and private.

We are starting to enjoy our new spaces. We appreciate that we would not have achieved this outcome without Nathalie’s professionalism, passion for creating spaces for people to live and work in, attention to detail and willingness to work with us while we explored options and ideas ourselves.
She has also helped me communicate effectively with my builder and all the other trades people whose work actually creates the spaces she has designed, to make sure that her ideas are translated accurately.

I highly recommend Nathalie as both a designer and a professional adviser.”


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