This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

A House That Leans Into The Land

Architecture

Sometimes, you just don’t know what you want in a home, until you see it with your own eyes.

In this case, the owners of a heritage cottage in central Ballarat, were so inspired after viewing a project by local architecture firm Moloney Architects, they decided to do the unthinkable – start all over again. They sold the cottage they had planned to renovate, and sought out a new site which would enable them to build a new, architecturally designed home from scratch.

The result is Two Halves House, the spectacular new house that the owners never knew they needed!

19th July, 2018

The Two Halves house by Moloney Architects. Photo – Christine Francis.

The house is divided into two equal pavilions, linked by an internal structure. Photo – Christine Francis.

The owners initially approached Moloney Architects for a modest renovation to a heritage cottage in Ballarat! Photo – Christine Francis.

The second pavilion houses the living spaces. Photo – Christine Francis.

One of the primary requirements of the owners was to extend the natural experience of sitting around the kitchen island. Photo – Christine Francis.

One of the bedrooms in the ‘top’ pavilion, comprising the sleeping and bathing portions of the house. Photo – Christine Francis.

Looking into the living, kitchen and dining area from the internal linkway. Photo – Christine Francis.

The open-plan living, kitchen and dining space. Photo – Christine Francis.

Low bench-seating runs the perimeter of the living area to encourage casual conversations. Photo – Christine Francis.

A cosy nook. Photo – Christine Francis.

The split-level solution allowed the site to fulfil its maximum potential (featuring Fergus the dog!). Photo – Christine Francis.

One of the bathrooms in the top pavilion. Photo – Christine Francis.

Bedroom details. Photo – Christine Francis.

Due to its location in a high bush-fire risk area, Mick and his team used naturally fire resistant Blackbutt cladding to meet requirements. The timber will weather over time and blend into its environment. Photo – Christine Francis.

Sally Tabart
Thursday 19th July 2018

With a fixer upper to renovate, Ballarat based couple Sam and Sarah approached local architecture firm Moloney Architects, attracted to their contemporary aesthetic and sustainable design principles.  It wasn’t long before they were invited to view one of the firm’s recently completed projects in nearby Invermay. ‘Within a few days, they had put their house on the market’, architect Mick Moloney tells us. And so began the origin story Two Halves House.

Then began the search for the perfect block of land to build their forever home. After a few months, a site was secured. Sharing many similarities with the Invermay project that had originally sparked their imagination, everyone agreed this sloping site capturing spectacular south-valley views towards Ballarat was *the one*.

While the brief was relatively simple in its requirements – a four bedroom home with enough room for future kids and plenty of entertainment – the site itself presented its challenges. Rigid building restrictions and the way the land was subdivided meant the proposed building could only be oriented north-south, whereas the most logical orientation was east-west. Rather than letting these difficulties dictate a less than perfect result, Mick and his team truly leant into every challenge, and it’s their intelligent design response that has earned this house notoriety.

Mick and his team proposed building the house in two equal pavilions, at two different heights, connected by an internal linking structure. This split-level response allowed the house to settle into the sloping site, rather than perch on top of it. ‘Separating the pavilions vertically allowed us to follow the slope of the site, and minimise disruption to the flow of the landscape,’ Mick explains, ‘…This project shows that it’s possible to work with the landscape and still create the spaces required for modern family life.’

As well as considerations for Sam and Sarah’s future family, Mick notes the owners’ love of entertaining as a major factor in the open-plan living area (zoned in the second pavilion). A built-in bench traces the perimeter of the entire living level, extending the natural experience of sitting around the kitchen island into a conversation area.

The house ‘hosts a full gamut of events and parties’ according to Mick, the owners making the most of this socially-designed house by opening their doors to a number of community events including the first Ballarat Open House in 2017. The fruitful relationship between Moloney Architects and their enthusiastic clients to create a truly innovative new home, has given this house a social life of its own!

View Comments

Similar Stories

Architecture

Contemporary Architecture Meets Country Style In Eganstown

A clever addition to an existing home in regional Victoria, by Solomon Troup Architects.

Architecture

A WOW-Factor Extension In Brunswick

A seriously impressive, light-filled addition by Rob Kennon Architects in Melbourne's northern suburbs.

Architecture

A Pavilion in the Trees

A spectacular, seamless addition to an existing mid-century house in Camberwell, by Melbourne firm AM Architecture.

This Week

News

WIN $500 To Spend At The New Australian HAY Online Store!

You could win $500 to spend at this just-launched e-shop for the Danish design icons, thanks to Cult!

Food

Alice Zaslavsky's Gefilte Fish Fritters

There’s no Passover dish that sparks more of a reaction than gefilte fish, so today we share the perfect 'gateway' recipe!
Alice Zaslavsky

Dream Job

From Intern to Senior Landscape Designer – Growing A Career At Eckersley Garden Architecture

26-year-old Joshua Cocks charts his journey from University intern to working across award-winning projects, with one of Australia's top fir...
Elle Murrell

Architecture

A Spectacular Unfolding House Overlooking Sydney Harbour

A minimalist marvel with serious harbour views, by Matthew Woodward Architecture in Vaucluse, Sydney.
Miriam McGarry

Architecture

A Thoroughly Tactile Terrace

Bringing new light and life to a narrow North Fitzroy home, with Olaver Architecture.
Miriam McGarry

Architecture

Hello 2019 Victorian Architecture Awards Shortlist

Celebrating design longevity with the State’s top residential architecture projects.
Elle Murrell

TDF Collect

Announcing Our Next Exhibition, Elizabeth Barnett's 'Blue'

A new body of work from Macedon artist Elizabeth Barnett, opening Saturday April 27th at our Collingwood gallery.

Art

Charting A Contemporary Artist’s Remarkable Oeuvre

Spanning almost four decades, Rosslynd Piggott’s ‘I sense you but I cannot see you’ is on now at NGV.
Elle Murrell

News

The Bold And Brilliant Exhibition ‘Fashioning Black Identity’

African and African diaspora fashion, photography and portraiture at Cairns Art Gallery.
Miriam McGarry

Art

'Mirka For Melbourne' Fundraiser Exhibition Opens At Heide

Mirka for Melbourne' opens this week, showcasing important acquisitions from the studio of Mirka Mora, funded by your donations!

Homes

A Family Rental With Real Heart

The Caufield Californian bungalow of interior designer Sara Levitas, her Rabbi husband Noam, and family.

News

Ebony Truscott's Modern Day Masterpieces

A stunning exhibition of still-life paintings on now in Collingwood.
Sally Tabart

News

Free To Feed’s Annual Fundraising Bake Sale Is On This Friday!

Do something GREAT this Good Friday and help raise funds for a worthy cause!
Sally Tabart

Studio Visit

Carving Out A New Career With Courtney Petley

The New Zealand based designer and maker shares her handcrafted kitchen utensils, created with reclaimed timber.
Miriam McGarry
01:01:05

Podcast

TDF Talks With Chef-Turned-Sustainable-Farmer Paul West

A surprisingly hilarious chat with the River Cottage Australia host, covering his atypical career path, and his philosophies on living a mor...

Similar Stories

Architecture

Contemporary Architecture Meets Country Style In Eganstown

A clever addition to an existing home in regional Victoria, by Solomon Troup Architects.

Architecture

A WOW-Factor Extension In Brunswick

A seriously impressive, light-filled addition by Rob Kennon Architects in Melbourne's northern suburbs.

Architecture

A Pavilion in the Trees

A spectacular, seamless addition to an existing mid-century house in Camberwell, by Melbourne firm AM Architecture.