St Kilda West
Our task in designing this house was to accommodate a family on a sloping site – long and relatively narrow and incorporating an existing Victorian house. We also needed to ensure that the highly serviced building minimised energy use through passive solar design.
Whilst the accommodation requirements and the shape, orientation and terrain of the site largely determined the formal arrangement of the house, the articulation of the fabric and the detail design were generated from both the passive solar methods employed and more significantly, our Client’s request that the architecture reflect their extensive time living in various parts of Asia.
We were conscious of avoiding a literal or thematic depiction of ‘Asian’ architecture, so the connections are subltle and characterised by a minimal palette of colour, texture and form and an attempt to reference the qualitative aspects of Asian architecture rather than obvious visual representations.
That the house functions effectively for a family with frequent guests and supports both family life and individual privacy is a satisfying outcome for us. The significant achievement however, is the unexpected narrative that the house offers once through the front door. There is a sense of space unfolding and the suggestion of more at every turn. There is also a quietness in this house, a stillness and sense of retreat from the city – perhaps the most essential link to Asia.