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A Weatherboard Home Soars To New Heights

Architecture

The Sesame Street song claims it’s ‘hip to be a square’ but this Albert Park weatherboard home conversion from Melbourne based firm Architecture Architecture makes a convincing case for the humble triangle!

We chat with director Nick James about renovating this house on an unconventional L-shaped site, by responding with an equally unconventional design that took out a residential award in the prestigious 2018 Victorian Architecture Awards.

24th September, 2018

The ‘Kite House’ by Architecture Architecture in Albert Park. Photo –  Peter Bennetts.

The house was designed in an unconventional ‘L’ shape. Photo –  Peter Bennetts.

Part of the client’s brief was to increase functionality of the studio/garage. Here you can see how it connects to the house and garden. Photo –  Peter Bennetts.

This unconventional design isn’t like anything we’ve seen before! Photo –  Peter Bennetts.

‘Light filters in from all sides marking the passage of a day, while overhead, triangles beget triangles, folding and multiplying against the sky like barely tethered kites,’ Nick explains poetically. Photo – Tom Hutton.

A view into the ‘L’ shaped kitchen that mimics the design of the house. Photo –  Peter Bennetts.

One of the main priorities for the client was to bring light into the home. Photo –  Peter Bennetts.

Looking through the kitchen and into a bedroom. Photo – Tom Hutton.

The home opens right up to the lush internal garden. Photo – Tom Hutton.

Dappled light in the courtyard. Photo –  Peter Bennetts.

Dense greenery surrounds the Albert Park property. Photo – Tom Hutton.

Despite being extremely modern and contemporary in design, the house feels like a home. Photo – Tom Hutton.

Lucy Feagins
Monday 24th September 2018

The Kite House by Melbourne based firm Architecture Architecture is a home that doesn’t look quite like any other we’ve seen! Nick James, director of the award winning firm explained that the eye-catching forms here emerged from an adaptation of the existing floor plan. Initially, the site was disjointed, with  an isolated courtyard garden, so the architects reimagined the space by stretching ‘diagonally across the L-shaped backyard, unifying two arms of the garden with a single gesture.’

This reconfiguration provided a form and language for the whole project, including an L-shaped kitchen which mimics the site plan, and cleverly maximises the space! Nick outlines that the client’s brief for the project was to bring light into the home, and increase the functionality of the bathroom, living room, laundry and studio/garage.

The architects achieved this wish list of goals (and much more) by inserting large pivot windows, bi-fold doors and window seats to connect the living room with the garden, and maximise natural light. A sense of openness and a skywards pull is also achieved from the interior canopy roof. Nick poetically describes, ‘light filters in from all sides marking the passage of a day, while overhead, triangles beget triangles, folding and multiplying against the sky like barely tethered kites.’ Wow, what a description!

The form of the main house is echoed in the the garage and mezzanine studio in the backyard, which perform as a ‘younger sibling’ with the same family genetics. Nick describes the angular gesture of the garage as a ‘tipping its hat in deference’ to the primary residence. The ‘flipped’ open roof cleverly brings light and openness into both structures, and plenty of opportunity to spot animals in the clouds, or even a kite on a windy afternoon.

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