Located in the Inner suburb of Ivanhoe, sits a seemingly calm, unassuming modern suburban home in its moat of sand. The house is a clever orchestration of balancing tension that has created wondrous moments throughout.
The house can be read as a conversation of dualities, of heavy and lightness, public and private and of light and darkness. The first expression of this tension can be seen from street façade, essentially two forms bifurcated by a double height black void, which forms a grand recessive entry. On the one side we have a solid, rigid, rectilinear form, seeming weighed down by its own mass. On the other, elevated from the earth by a shard of black glass, symbolic of emptiness or absence.
The entry void then snakes its way through the house as a corridor, defining the living quarters from the public, family and friends realms to the private inner sanctum. The public space which is experienced through implied volume, mediates between the private which are smaller volumes within the overall open plan larger volume. This is reinforced with the monolithic timber volumes which are private bedroom and bathroom spaces with concealed entries and flush panel doors. The winding corridor is interrupted by an interplay of forms lined with different textured surfaces of straight timber, hard edge faced brickwork, counter-balanced with a long, smooth curved flat white wall.
This thematic reading continues with the use of a monochromatic palette, of sandy, off-white versus dense black and highlighted timber. The tones are subtle but rich, highlighting the natural beauty of stone and wood. These materials, tones and tension are maintained from the exterior into the interior of the house. The balancing of duality can be experienced throughout, from the lofty ceiling, which still feels intimate by the dark timber lining, the warmth of stone by careful selection, the large expanse of glass that still offers security, but all this tension reaches its crescendo with the interface of the transparent swimming pool wall that looks into the living room. A perfect counterpoint that lies somewhere between, inside and out, cold and warmth, relaxed and active, openness and enclosed, the experienced and the experiment, the old and the modern.
Formally the grounds for the Saint Joseph’s Technical School dating back to the late 1800’s the St. Joseph project is a luxury residential development situated in Abbottsford, Victoria. Due to its historical significance the site has become part of the cultural landscape within the area, demanding a highly responsive and respectful design outcome. Our primary objective was to incorporate the critical components of school’s culture and history as a celebration and balance of the past and the future – creating ‘future heritage’ for the next generation. We were interested in exploring ways to interpret and represent the critical ‘story’ that created the culture and history of St Joseph’s Technical School.
After examining the school’s historical records, we carefully selected historical photographs that best captured the schools culture and incorporated the narratives within the visual content into the architectural response. The design intent was to recreate multiple simultaneous layers of history within the articulated screens that wrap around the street frontage facades. The faceted panels create a “Lenticular Image”; an optical phenomenon whereby singular segments of an image converge at specific points of view to recreate the completed image. The observer can view multiple images to a given surface by changing their position.
The images are transferred into the facade by two distinct yet complementary methods. The first method is perforating anodised aluminium sheets whilst the second is and embossed double-anodising aluminium sheets which introduces depth into the surface of the material. Each method is assigned to each opposing direction, creating a highly articulated and abstracted outcome.
Located in the leafy Inner East this boutique townhouse development boasts a superb location close to local amenities, shops and schools.
The heritage past of the area, terraces, bricks, pitched roofs and high quality finish inspired a response where each residence has its own visual address as well as fitting its neighbours and the wider context.
The Brahman Granite bricks establish themselves as the feature cladding through their prominent positioning on the façade and their playful pattern variation. The perforated patterns provide light and visual connection whilst maintaining privacy. In other areas 2 types of protrusion patterns pique visual interest and add a textural intrigue. The stack and stretcher bond fence and lower elements blend seamlessly with selected stone and timber to round out the building as a cohesive and polished product.
Multi-residential development on the Kew junction. The layering of the regular grid becomes a canvas to articulate and showcase the subtle beauty of natural materials, while the harmonious contrast of materiality and natural elements drives the image of the intersecting lives on the predominant junction.
The South Yarra House has utilized the site constraints as a means to design environmentally sustainable design solutions to somewhat complex site constraints. The project explores five key areas of investigation; site context, vehicle access and parking, solar orientation, landscaping and views which informed the design response for the proposal.
The subject site is located in a narrow street without any definitive architectural character which enjoys an ecletic range of house typologies ranging from post war cottages, large brick 50’s deco houses and a plethora of newly constructed attached town houses and houses. The small allotments have forced increased densities in the area and as a result any new construction to new houses or extensions have been forced to the title boundaries in order to maximise the site envelopes. A 3m lane way to the east divides the subject site and the three extruded box like double storey’s dwellings all of which are built to the boundary. The western interface has a very large second storey addition to an Edwardian weather board home that dominates the subject site. Our response was to match the built form and scale of the new house with a view to keep the geometry simple and proportional.
Vehicle access and parking:
The most significant site constraint for the scheme was that a less than 9m street frontage prohibited vehicle access from the street. This forced the garage to the center of the site off the lanes way. We utilized the access/egress space as an opportunity to create a de facto court yard/light well and thereby resulting in northern solar orientation to all habitable spaces. The use of a car turn table not only assisted in easier access and egress, but also provided the client with a third car space. The innovative design strategy provided a multi layered solutions to the reoccurring urban problem for vehicle/parking accessing to small sites.
Having every habitable room in the house facing north was critical to the design in order to maximize environmental sustainable efficiencies and light fill spaces without relying on east/west windows and borrowed light. The light well to the garage was a key programmatic strategy to reinforcing the idea that constraint forces innovative design solutions through the problem solving process.
The project incorporates unconventional methods of landscaping and the role that they play in the design. Urban house typologies such as this one generally have limited opportunities to landscape and are generally located in the rear open space. We wanted to remove this limitation and provide a green vista from as many spaces as possible. The problem was that the car turntable in the court yard removed the capacity to landscape at ground level. Our solution was to create a ‘Sky Garden’ above the court yard which provided shading and an interesting juxtaposition between the building and the organic greenery.
Our objective was to internalize and structure views from inside to outside and from one space to the other. Strategically placing windows throughout the house enabled us maintain privacy and surveillance from the front of the house right through to the back. More importantly the overlapping spaces captured vistas to key areas such as the sky garden. Incorporating a strip window at ground level in the lounge also enabled us to minimize south facing glazing and remove a high fence to the front for privacy.
Victoria Square is an Urban Renewal project that celebrates Foostray’s multicultural heritage buy creating a new a social, economic and residential hub on the city fringe with a focus on place making. The project will create a new place for Footscray with a new paradigm for urban living that incorporates all the lifestyle, entertainment and wellbeing amenities for a contemporary city. The fluid curvilinear geometries of the towers are a reflection of the movement from the surrounding bay and river context. Floor plates rhythmically shift around the building creating a sense of movement for the observers and offer a new reading of the tower as they traverses around the precinct.