Steel Cladding and a Roller Door Forge a Melbourne Home With Its Industrial Setting
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Location: Cremorne, Victoria, Australia
Architect: FIGR Architecture Studio / @figr_architecture
Footprint: 1,140 square feet
Structural Engineer: DSL Consulting
Sustainability Consultant: North Environmental Design
Photographer: Tom Blachford / @blachford
From the Architect: "As our cities incrementally and inevitably densify, we look to occupy the tiny nooks and crannies for a place we can call home. Located amongst the hubbub of delivery trucks, bicycles, and a never ending procession of vehicle traffic, this project sits within a minute 1,722-square-foot site, backing on to a key commercial precinct within Cremorne in Melbourne. Despite the site’s context, our client loved the sheer richness and vibrance of the area so much that they set out to make this place a long term place of residence.
"The design brief seeks to maximize comfort, solar passive design, and access to natural light—made all the more challenging due to an impending 12-story development to be constructed nearby. To resolve this, the volumes of the proposed additions were planned out in collaboration with the adjoining neighbor who at the time was granted a planning permit for a two-story extension to the north of the subject site. By working together, views to the sky were in effect doubled and mutual visual privacy for both properties was achieved without the need for physical privacy screens.
"The layout is an intentional departure from the typical open plan plug-in to the back of an older house. Instead, functions and spaces straddle the perimeter of the backyard so as to create a continuous interface and connection with the garden and landscaped pergola. Complete with worm composting and a rain garden, the compact but hard working backyard is irrigated with a 2,500 liter rainwater harvesting tank, provided in addition to solar boosted hot water, and above and beyond code requirements.
"Much like Cremorne itself, the concrete, timber, and galvanized steel materialty of the house is imagined as unapologetically gritty and robust. The latter of which, a natural and necessary reference to the immediate historical context of workers cottage roofscapes, seen in the local area."
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