A Home That Shows Off A New Silhouette

Some structures have immediately recognisable silhouettes. The Taj Mahal, The Eiffel Tour… and, in Melbourne, a humble yet very handsome new home by FIGR Architecture Studio in Elwood has a sleek silhouette of its own.

Today, the architects take us on a tour of this clever family home, which has been deftly designed to maximise space on a narrow block, while respecting the surrounding streetscape.

Lucy Feagins
Supports The Design Files

Welcome to the Silhouette Hytte House by FIGR Architecture Studio. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Ruth Welsby.

Black metal cladding, with cleverly placed cut outs for light and visual amenity. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Ruth Welsby.

A striking roof line makes for spacious interiors. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Ruth Welsby.

The home is flooded with natural light. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Ruth Welsby.

A spot for a book in the sun. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Ruth Welsby.

A large sky light welcomes the outside in. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Ruth Welsby.

The space above the kitchen can be accessed the ladder on the side wall! Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Ruth Welsby.

Refined and simple bathroom details. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Ruth Welsby.

Leafy greens framed in the bathroom window. Photo – Tom Blachford. Styling – Ruth Welsby.

Lucy Feagins
1st of July 2019

This eye-catching architectural design emerged in response to the clients’ ambitious brief for a three-bedroom, two-bedroom home with open-plan living, dining, kitchen and study. The design also needed to take into consideration the long narrow block (34.4 x 6.1m), be complementary to the surrounds, respect the heritage and flood overlays, and close proximity of the neighbourhood trees. Phew!

Incredibly, all of these constraints resulted in a successful and striking outcome. The FIGR Architecture Studio team drew upon the existing form of the pitched roof to create a new, modern addition ‘with a playful and updated appearance’. The Silhouette House is now recognisable for its extruded roofline, that is an exaggeration of the pre-existing form. By avoiding the fussiness of eaves or decoration, the clean line casts an impressive shadow!

This new envelope also creates generous internal space, and maximises natural light. The architects explain that insertions into the black metal shroud create connections to the outdoors, and ensure warm sunlight permeates the internal spaces.

Internally, a sleek materials palette of timber, black and white laminate, white and terrazzo tiles, and marble ensure this home is robust and hardwearing. Meanwhile, outside, the black ‘standing seam’ metal cladding of the exterior offers a striking contrast to the shiplapped timbers boards and timber doors, and red brick paving (using existing bricks from the old shed) creates a tangible connection between the old home and the new.

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