The owners of Kew East House, a triple-story, 2,853-square-foot home in the Melbourne suburb from which it gets its name, are a couple with two teenagers who sought to maximize their wonderful, parkland views and add an internal "granny flat" on the ground floor. The husband’s parents currently spend half the year in India, and half the year with them, but will eventually move into the home permanently.
To achieve these goals, the homeowners reached out to Patrick Jost, founder of local firm Jost Architects, who focused on finding ways to create efficient interiors that maintain a strong visual connection to the scenic park nearby.
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"Located on a complex site with a very steep fall down towards the street with strict council setbacks, the house is recessed within the slope," says Jost. "The banded fascias fold and rake, vertically and horizontally, braiding the building into the streetscape. The functional spaces are layered within this fabric."
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The materials for the exterior of house were chosen for durability and their tonal hues, which complement the large eucalyptus trees enveloping the site.
The private areas, which include a master bedroom and an additional formal living lounge on this first level, are separated from the main living areas by a corridor.
The living areas all have direct access to natural light and cross ventilation, with good air circulation at the first level over the garage and internal granny flat. On the upper level are the two children’s bedrooms and a rooftop balcony that overlooks the park and beyond to the city.
Many factors contribute to the energy-efficient dwelling: a thermally broken window system; passive solar design with eave overhangs, external sliding, and fixed timber batten screens; and a 4.95kW PV System.
"Considering its generous size, this house is able to respond to the changing external conditions, operating efficiently and effectively to maintain comfort for its occupants," says Jost. "It is a house that sits comfortably within its environment, and that will also adapt to the changing demographic of the family."