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 Home With Two Personalities

Architecture

In her award-winning novel ‘How To Be Both’, author Ali Smith writes ‘beauty in its most completeness is never found in a single body, but is something shared instead between more than one body.’ While Ali was writing about an Italian Renaissance artist, the sentiment of separate identities coming together to create beauty is equally relevant today, and clearly evident in this architectural home!

We chat with architect Christopher Polly about designing the Binary House, a unique family home composed in two elegant parts.

15th November, 2018

The Binary House by Christopher Polly Architect. Photo – Brett Boardman.

The kitchen in the new addition. Photo – Brett Boardman.

The 60s yellow brick ‘front house’ belies the modern extension in the rear! Photo – Brett Boardman.

The clients considered expansive living and dining spaces a major priority in the new design. Photo – Brett Boardman.

Incredible connection between indoor/outdoor. Photo – Brett Boardman.

Demonstrating the differences between the two ‘personalities’ of the 60s original facade and the contemporary addition! Photo – Brett Boardman.

The double-height living areas offer a generous sense of space. Photo – Brett Boardman.

Seamless transition between the two distinct halves. Photo – Brett Boardman.

The bathroom in the new addition. Photo – Brett Boardman.

Another view of old vs new. Photo – Brett Boardman.

Miriam McGarry
Thursday 15th November 2018

The initial brief for this stunning home was to transform a small three-bedroom dwelling without a dining room, into a four-room house with generous living and dining space. Architect Christopher Polly explains how this vision shaped the inventive design of the property, which is composed in two elegant parts – resulting in a double design!

The Binary House maintains the original street façade and ‘front house’, before the 1960s yellow brick home opens into an expansive rear addition. Christopher describes the dual composition as ‘a cellular and private front to the street, with an open and public rear that expands to its landscape setting.’ Private/public, old/new, contained/expansive – this property explores multiple contrasts to create a cohesive whole!

Christopher highlights how the original bungalow connects to the new addition through a ‘sharply folding form’ that ‘unlocks’ the front hall, light-filled courtyards, and connects the private and public spaces within the home. The new two-story pavilion includes a double-height living area, and this generous space is flooded with light and connected to the garden with landscape views.

The materials in the house amplify the binary concept, while also binding the property together. The brickwork in the new pavilions echoes the original structure, ‘while its binary play of considered honey and grey tones strongly reference the exterior yellow brick and grey metal of the two distinct structures’ Christopher explains.

The home’s double identities are singularly aligned in promoting a strong connection to place and landscape. The building offers privacy from neighbours, while simultaneously encouraging engagement with the garden and courtyard spaces. Two strong design elements, one incredible home!

This Week

News

Time Travel To The Quintessential 1970s Motel In Melbourne

Tim Ross and Kit Warhurst bring their hilarious, nostalgia-infused live show to a classic Melbourne motel next month.

Architecture

Avoiding The Coastal Cliché, With Mid Century Flair

A Portsea home gets a contemporary revamp, from Studio Esteta.
Miriam McGarry
  13 hours ago

Creative People

When Art Meets Music - 15 Stand-Out Album Covers Featuring Australian Art

From Ken Done to Brett Whiteley, Stephen Baker to Luke Sciberras, discover the Australian artists behind some iconic album art!
Elle Murrell

Architecture

A Stacked Home In St Kilda For Every Family Member

Matt Gibson Architecture and Design team up with clients DDB Design on a long-term living solution for multiple generations!

Architecture

The Best Of The Island – Here Are The 2019 Tasmanian Architecture Award Winners!

Our southernmost state may be small, but it packs a big architectural punch.
Miriam McGarry

In Print

Take A Gander At Australia's Iconic Art Deco Pubs

A new book, documenting how a nation’s love of a cold beer, led to an architectural phenomenon!
Elle Murrell
2:22

We, The Brave

Turning A Passion For Photography Into A Career, With Eve Wilson

Eve Wilson shares her courageous career journey, from photographer’s assistant, to leading lifestyle photographer. In partnership with MYO...
45:53

Podcast

TDF Talks With Architect Penelope Seidler

This national icon reflects on her early life, working with her husband Harry in the 60s/70s, and her proudest achievement to date!

Studio Visit

The Seafaring Painter Pushing The Boundaries Of Maritime Art

A sail and studio visit with one-of-a-kind artist Gemma Rasdall, as her new body of work is unveiled in Sydney.
Elle Murrell
  21 hours ago

News

Sunday Life Drawing Classes In Seriously Lush Surrounds

Fitzroy-based creatives Ladies of Leisure team up with artist Lani Mitchell for a dreamy life drawing series in July!
Miriam McGarry
  14 hours ago

News

Humans Landed On The Moon Today!

Geelong Gallery is celebrating the 50th anniversary of ‘mankind’s giant leap’ with a captivating exhibition, bringing together...
Elle Murrell
  10 hours ago

News

Moments From Nature Captured In Exquisite Detail

Following a devastating diagnosis two years ago, graphic designer Shelley Heaney embarked upon a new project encouraging us to connect to th...

Homes

A Home With A Warm Hart

The eclectic and soothing home of doula Sunni Hart and family.

Architecture

An Experiment In ‘Unfinishing’ A Home

An always evolving family home in Bondi Junction, by Alexander & Co.

Art

A New Art Collaboration At Raes on Wategos

The iconic Byron Bay hotel launches its first Artist in Residence program, with French-Australian painter Stanislas (Stan) Piechaczek.

View Comments

Similar Stories

Architecture

A Home That Invites The Outside In

A 1920’s brick bungalow in Hobart gets a modern revamp by Archier.

Architecture

Extended And Updated In Albert Park

Tandem Studio works with the bones of a heritage listed house to create a contemporary solution for a young family.

Architecture

A House That Leans Into The Land

A clever design response to a challenging site in Ballarat by Moloney Architects.

This Week

Studio Visit

The Seafaring Painter Pushing The Boundaries Of Maritime Art

A sail and studio visit with one-of-a-kind artist Gemma Rasdall, as her new body of work is unveiled in Sydney.
Elle Murrell
  21 hours ago

Art

A New Art Collaboration At Raes on Wategos

The iconic Byron Bay hotel launches its first Artist in Residence program, with French-Australian painter Stanislas (Stan) Piechaczek.
45:53

Podcast

TDF Talks With Architect Penelope Seidler

This national icon reflects on her early life, working with her husband Harry in the 60s/70s, and her proudest achievement to date!

Architecture

A Stacked Home In St Kilda For Every Family Member

Matt Gibson Architecture and Design team up with clients DDB Design on a long-term living solution for multiple generations!

News

Sunday Life Drawing Classes In Seriously Lush Surrounds

Fitzroy-based creatives Ladies of Leisure team up with artist Lani Mitchell for a dreamy life drawing series in July!
Miriam McGarry
  14 hours ago

News

Moments From Nature Captured In Exquisite Detail

Following a devastating diagnosis two years ago, graphic designer Shelley Heaney embarked upon a new project encouraging us to connect to th...

Creative People

When Art Meets Music - 15 Stand-Out Album Covers Featuring Australian Art

From Ken Done to Brett Whiteley, Stephen Baker to Luke Sciberras, discover the Australian artists behind some iconic album art!
Elle Murrell

Homes

A Home With A Warm Hart

The eclectic and soothing home of doula Sunni Hart and family.
2:22

We, The Brave

Turning A Passion For Photography Into A Career, With Eve Wilson

Eve Wilson shares her courageous career journey, from photographer’s assistant, to leading lifestyle photographer. In partnership with MYO...

Architecture

The Best Of The Island – Here Are The 2019 Tasmanian Architecture Award Winners!

Our southernmost state may be small, but it packs a big architectural punch.
Miriam McGarry

News

Time Travel To The Quintessential 1970s Motel In Melbourne

Tim Ross and Kit Warhurst bring their hilarious, nostalgia-infused live show to a classic Melbourne motel next month.

News

Humans Landed On The Moon Today!

Geelong Gallery is celebrating the 50th anniversary of ‘mankind’s giant leap’ with a captivating exhibition, bringing together...
Elle Murrell
  10 hours ago

Architecture

Avoiding The Coastal Cliché, With Mid Century Flair

A Portsea home gets a contemporary revamp, from Studio Esteta.
Miriam McGarry
  13 hours ago

In Print

Take A Gander At Australia's Iconic Art Deco Pubs

A new book, documenting how a nation’s love of a cold beer, led to an architectural phenomenon!
Elle Murrell

Architecture

An Experiment In ‘Unfinishing’ A Home

An always evolving family home in Bondi Junction, by Alexander & Co.

Similar Stories

Architecture

A Home That Invites The Outside In

A 1920’s brick bungalow in Hobart gets a modern revamp.

Architecture

Extended And Updated In Albert Park

Tandem Studio works with the bones of a heritage listed house to create a contemporary solution for a young family.

Architecture

A House That Leans Into The Land

A clever design response to a challenging site in Ballarat by Moloney Architects.