HOUSE house, Melbourne, Australia
Andrew Maynard Architects

The flat typographical conditions of Melbourne have resulted in suburbs with low-density housing, large building footprints and minimised outdoor space. In contrast to the typical condition HOUSE house is a narrow and vertical 3 level structure that maximises a shared backyard. HOUSE House is a single building addition to two existing Victorian terraces houses.

The new addition allows each level to be unique in function and personality, adapting to the various and complex moods of it occupants. The shared and living spaces have inconspicuous boundaries resulting in a sense of interconnection and spatial generosity.

The dining room, kitchen and backyard open onto one another. The fence along each house can slide away to create a large, communal backyard. Many details have been implemented throughout the project to blur the boundaries between various shared and living spaces.

The new structure is built in a different orientation to the existing houses. The new addition is created as separate form to the existing building; the narrow timber box is located in contrast to the existing brick houses. A perforated steel stair is situated between the existing and new structure.

A material palette of contrasting steel and timber has been implemented throughout the project. The new timber box is cladded in cedar, punctured only by large steel frame windows to emphasise and articulate the relationships between interior and exterior.

To express the separation between old and new, raw structural steel is incorporated to articulate the space that is ‘cut out’ of the existing building and structure.

HOUSE house engages with Melbourne’s tendency to tag buildings. The timber box when facing the street is painted black to render spray paint invisible or it can easily be repainted. The black graphic is representative of the child-like image of a suburban home. Here we see the overlap of two distinct approaches to the single-family house; the stereotypical home overlaid on the import. If you look closely around the house you will find many other “Easter Eggs” following the same theme.

Completed July 2012

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