Full of bohemian soul, the heritage neighborhood of Fitzroy in Melbourne is known as a real estate hot spot. But rather than capitalize on their block and exploit a vacant garden east of their property, the family of four who own King Bill decided to create a new pocket park to bring more greenery to the streetscape.
When it came time to renovate their double-story terrace home, the owners sought out local studio Austin Maynard Architects—a firm known for its sustainable ethos—who incorporated the empty garden to the east, and an old stable at the rear, to the new floor plan.
Corrugated Custom Orb cladding in Surfmist defines each of the additions, clarifying the stable building, glass pavilion, and bedroom. "The advantage of the profile is that it can be rolled to create sweeping curves and sun-shading eyelids," says founding direction Andrew Maynard. "The versatility of using the linear ribs vertically or horizontally allows the material to be used practically in different applications, to shade and guide rain water in the case of the stable and pop out, or to create the curve of a building, in the case of the pavilion."
The architects completely re-thought the idea of the terrace house. "Typically, you walk through the front door of a terrace, past two bedrooms to the kitchen/living and small rear yard, which is usually overshadowed by the house itself," says Maynard. "We set aside these principles and looked at the house as empty spaces that needed new purpose."
The Y-shaped steel framing were carefully arranged to accommodate three trunks and branches, and thin piers were used for the foundations of the framing to ensure minimal impact on the ground and tree roots. The roof is covered with solar panels with micro-inverters.
To create different moods in the garden and outdoor areas, the architects retained the existing trees on the site. The new, concrete slab pavilion (where the living, kitchen, and dining are located) cantilevers beyond its footings to avoid the roots of the existing Ornamental Pear and Silver Birch trees.
Buried within the rear yard is a large water tank that provides water for the flush toilets and watering the garden. "King Bill is a collage of its built history, its textures, its forms, its order, and its chaos," says Maynard.
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