australian studio curious practice renovates 'aru house' with brickwork and timber screens

australian studio curious practice renovates 'aru house' with brickwork and timber screens

a renovated weatherboard cottage in australia


In Maryville, Australia, architecture firm Curious Practice breathes new life into a classic early-twentieth-century weatherboard cottage with this Aru House. The team notes that this traditional housing type often prioritizes aesthetics over functionality, neglecting aspects like natural light, connection to the outdoors, and responsiveness to the environment.


The architects at Curious Practice strategically addresses these shortcomings through a series of additions which the architects call ‘sensory amplifiers and connectors.’ These sensitive adjustments enhance the home’s connection to its surroundings and allow for a more comfortable and adaptable living experience. A key feature is the adjustable apertures throughout the house, introduced to optimize natural light and ventilation according to the season. Although the footprint is only slightly expanded, the strategic renovation creates the feeling of more generous interiors.

aru house curious practicethe Aru House welcomes the street with upgraded brickwork and native gardens | images © Clinton Weaver



architecture by curious practice


The team at Curious Practice transforms its Aru House by introducing a new side addition, which integrates a study, bedroom, and bathroom. The western rear extension creates a deep, reconfigurable living area. Spotted gum sliding screens allow for connection to the outdoors while providing shelter from the elements when needed. The addition of a side deck extends the living space outdoors in the warmer months and provides a cozy retreat when the weather turns cooler. This flexibility allows the home to adapt to seasonal variations, maximizing both space and interior comfort.

aru house curious practice
Curious Practice breathes new life into a weatherboard cottage in Maryville, Australia



multifunctional and adaptable interiors


With its Aru House, Curious Practice prioritizes quality over square footage, designing spaces to be multifunctional and adaptable. The floor plan is optimized, and the team emphasizes high-quality materials and craftsmanship. The true value of the project lies in the use of light, carefully crafted details, and the merging of indoor and outdoor spaces. The design team isn’t just focused on the those living inside — upgraded elements like the articulated brickwork that transforms into a step, porch, letterbox, and public seat create a welcoming gesture toward the street. Gardens of native plant life replace the traditional front fencing and lawn, adding a touch of color and biodiversity from the perspective of the sidewalk.

aru house curious practice
the design prioritizes connection to the outdoors and responsiveness to the environment aru house curious practice
adjustable apertures and a reconfigurable living area allow the home to adapt to the seasons aru house curious practice
a side deck extends the living space and blurs the lines between inside and out


multifunctional spaces and high-quality materials create an elevated living experience

australian studio curious practice renovates 'aru house' with brickwork and timber screens
the architects and craftspeople work together to bring the design vision to life


Aru House is a new precedent for thoughtfully revitalizing existing homes

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