Portfolio

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Through the Looking Glass, Carlton North

It’s the perfect property for downsizers. A quaint heritage terrace opposite Curtain Square in Carlton North’s Rathdowne Village, minutes from Melbourne’s CBD.

The only problem was it’s orientation, north to the front, with the heritage requirement to keep the façade and not see any additions. Given that the property is only 5m wide and 120m2 with neighbouring walls on both side boundaries (two storey to the east boundary) getting sunlight into living rooms at the rear and creating a connection with the elements is very difficult!

But moving back to Melbourne after years living and working in Singapore and The Hague our clients were open minded to our ideas on how to maximise sense of space and light within these constraints.

The house would need to be two storey to accommodate their brief.  And being such a small property there was no excess space to create voids to draw sunlight into the ground floor.

So we adopted a trafficable glass floor to channel natural light and warming winter sun through the new upper level into the living rooms below. The 30mm thick glass floor is adjacent to full-width floor-to-ceiling windows & doors. These open onto a roof deck that is carved out of the existing heritage roofline bringing north sun in over the heritage parapet down to the lower level.

From within, the occupant’s eyes are drawn out to the views of Curtains Square’s treetops, neighbouring rooftops and the sky beyond the property boundaries, increasing the sense of space in an otherwise modest footprint.

The upper floor is set back from the façade to meet heritage sightlines onerously applied due to the wide street and park opposite. The roof form at the front is low and square, visually tucked behind the old parapet. But it rakes up southwards in two symmetrical parabolas twisting around a central axis to become a pitched roof at the rear where it frames an electrically operable window oriented to catch prevailing cool breezes for cross ventilation and natural cooling.

Over the roof deck an electrically operable external folding arm awning extends out to control summer sun and prevents overheating.

The first floor is a bedroom while also being a second living room. For an empty-nest couple this flexibility and openness allows them to be perched amongst the treetops bathed in sunlight with expansive views over one of Carlton North’s most beautiful parks.

The glass floor visually connects this space with the living rooms below while maintaining acoustic separation. The roof deck decking flows in and wraps down to the kitchen ceiling emphasising the connection between levels.

Sunlight washes across the original solid brick party wall’s thermal mass. Its bagged white to increase the sense of light while maintaining the history, the depth of the wall enhanced by the monochrome. The first floor is supported by new steel columns offset from these hundred-year-old walls due to structural necessity. We turned this spatial imposition into an opportunity for timber shelving down the length of the living room, at heights to suit each zone.

Reflective surfaces increase sense of space and light and illuminate the natural warm tones of the timber floors and walls. A green wall provides a natural outlook far larger than the 3m2 of the bathroom’s lightwell.

Thermally efficient composite windows with aluminium exterior and timber interior in conjunction with double glazing and European hardware complement the overall ethos of high thermal performance with low maintenance practicality and warm tactility.

Project Team: Ben Callery + Tim Shallue Photography: Jack Lovel Styling: Justine Murphy + Melissa Bailey Builder: CRD Developments
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Wongi, Fitzroy North

Wongi is a conversation between two eras – the way things were done then and how we can choose to live now.

Council heritage rules mandated the front façade and front two rooms of this heritage terrace be retained. But it was literally falling down so after its inevitable condemnation, had to be re-built to replicate of the original. This painstaking and expensive process required specialist heritage architects and engineers. It was immaculately executed by skilful builders and craftspeople with stucco parapets, cornices and urns re-created to match the colonial original. Meanwhile we upgraded the structure and thermal performance to include higher levels of thermal mass, insulation, double glazing and solar power to complement it’s all-electric operation.

Liberated from the heritage constraints, the rear extension expresses a contemporary sensibility towards the Australian climate and culture, working with the elements to create natural comfort and connect people.

Where the original presents to its street with the grandeur of an elevated vantage, high parapet and small private windows, the addition engages with its rear street openly, at grade with a retractable sliding fence, full-width bi-fold glass doors and folding arm awning that draws the living spaces out to the street.

Where the 1900’s form uses a deep verandah to block out the harsh Australian sun, as was the colonial wont, the contemporary addition rakes up to embrace winter sun and, enabled by technological advancement, employs operable external venetians and awnings to control it in summer.

On a 150m² terrace with a party wall running the entire north boundary, natural light and passive solar is sparse. Sculpting a three-bedroom house into a form not visible from the street, as dictated by heritage, and not overshadowing neighbours is challenging. The chamfered form achieves both of these while also drawing in sun and assisting cross ventilation facilitated by windows on the south and north sides.

Colorbond walls respond to the urban context in two tones that visually diminish the form. Internally, a bright neutral pallet against warm spotted gum emphasises natural light and sense of space while mirrored walls create an illusion of depth.

Owner’s Statement

The owners re-built according to the detailed heritage drawings and re-used the little that they could; the stone steps, the front door handle and lintel and the two unique pyramid features on the decorative parapet.

The original house was built in the early 1900’s. They wanted the building to reflect the totality of the society in which it was created and recreated – providing a 21st century perspective. The demolition of the original building allowed honouring the history and adding to it. The aim was to combine past and present a coherent reflection of the social narrative in which the house exists. The various owners of the house over time represent the hybrid nature of Australian culture; the Anglo-Australian who built it, the Greek family who may have contributed the pyramids and the current owners representing the First Nations people of this country and migrants from Reunion (France) and Ireland.

The owners named the house WONGI which is the name of the West Australian tribe (Wangkatha) to which Kate’s maternal Grandmother belonged. At the time the house was originally built, an exciting prospect of a home for the occupiers, Kate’s Grandmother was 8 years old, on country, being hunted down, removed (stolen) and placed on a mission. The name of the tribe is proudly stuccoed on the reconstructed parapet taking its place beside the other terrace names in the street; Florence, Violet, Elsinore and interestingly – Hiawatha. WONGI is a gesture to moving beyond Australia’s culture of selective remembering.

Wongi also means an ‘informal talk or chat.’ This house is a conversation integrating history; how things were done then and how we can do them now. The owners were committed, on both a bricks and mortar and symbolic level, to use the past to look forward. WONGI has prompted chats between the owners, their neighbours and passers-by, interested in the design and build and no doubt sobered learning the story behind the name. Perhaps these talks are WONGI’s most important contribution to its street.

Project Team: Ben Callery + Matt Eagle

Photography: Tatjana Plitt

Styling: Justine Murphy + Melissa Bailey

Builder: Clancy Constructions

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Callery House, Northcote

Exploring sustainably sourced materials

“They designed a rear living space that opens onto an airy, double-height void that’s carefully orientated, glazed and cross-ventilated to flood the space with natural light, warmth, breezes and views of the surrounding trees.” – Kath Dolan, Green Magazine

In an age where clients tell us their kids retreat to bedrooms and communicate with parents via social media, we strive for a house that feels more real. Real materials, real heating, real cooling and real family interaction.

We sourced a diverse range of recycled, salvaged and radially sawn timbers and wove them into a naturally comfortable, site responsive home. This timber is used practically to create sun shading, breeze control and privacy but also imaginatively to create feelings of transparency, floating and seclusion.

Conscious that the sourcing of discarded materials was a nest-like approach, we accentuated this in the detailing, abstracting the elements to explore the contrasting feelings of living in a nest; Open & breezy but warm & cosy. Semi-Transparent but secluded. Rough & tactile externally but comfortable internally. Over-riding is a sense of floating, perched in the treetops.

The void is oriented for passive solar gain and draws prevailing southern breezes but also connects the living rooms with the semi-secluded first floor rooms including the floating loft-study fostering real family interaction.

Publications:
  • Nesting with Style, Green Magazine, Issue 40
  • In Search of the real thing, The Age Domain, 6th March 2015
Photography: Anthony Richardson
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Paperback House, Northcote

Paperback house enables a family of four including two publishers who frequently work from home to live, work relax and play connected with each other and the environment. The architectural protagonist is the bookshelf that celebrates their literary vocation at the centre of the house. Double sided and semi-transparent it connects their Library/Study with the Living rooms adjacent and Rumpus room above connecting the occupants while allowing selective seclusion.

The overlapping spaces allows a very compact footprint essential for this relatively small block and a more sustainable use of resources in manufacture and occupation. The layout encourages interaction with the elements for natural comfort and wellbeing. The ground level is open and transparent, flowing outside encouraging play while making the spaces feel larger than the modest footprint.

The floating upper level by contrast is solid and opaque, carved from charred black hardwood. It responds to a different context requiring privacy and shade. Its form cantilevers to provide summer shade to rooms below while letting in low winter sun. Inside translucent surfaces attenuate glare while maintaining the benefits of passive solar gain. Reflective surfaces accentuate his soft light and combined with natural materials create a clam relaxing ambience perfect for reading whether professionally or relaxing.

Project Team: Ben Callery + Tim Shallue + Jennifer Payette  

Photography: Derek Swalwell  

Styling: Justine Murphy + Melissa Bailey  

Builder: Truewood Constructions  

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Elemental House, High Camp

Off-Grid Under a Big Hard Sun

“We went to Ben with a hand-drawn sketch of a design for a modest weekend retreat to be built high on a hill in country Victoria. After listening to our dreams for the house and visiting the site, Ben came back with a suggestion for a completely different design – one which suited the site and the rugged conditions far better. The result is a beautifully crafted robust 10-square house which takes full advantage of its heroic views but still stands strong and secure against the full force of prevailing winds. Ben understood and supported our desire to go off-grid and to make the house as bushfire-resistant as it is possible to be, incorporating elements such a fire-resistant spotted gum timber inside and out. Ben managed the tender process for us, ensuring we obtained the services of a quality builder, and then oversaw the construction which was completed within the expected time frame, making it an easy, seamless and enjoyable process. Naturally we’re biased but we think it is the most beautiful house in Australia.” – Sue & Jim Elemental house is a low impact off-grid retreat on an exposed ridge line at a place called High Camp, an hour north of Melbourne. In a compact 10m x 10m footprint, this house has one bedroom, one bathroom and one living room. But while it shuns some of the excesses of modern life, it doesn’t sacrifice comfort. The house produces and stores its own power,  collects its own rain water and treats its own waste water on site. The design interacts with the elements to create natural comfort; inviting warming winter sun, blocking out hot summer sun and catching prevailing cool breezes. Perched on a hill overlooking stunning panoramic views, it is exposed to the harshest of Australia’s elements; category N3 winds (low level cyclonic,) bushfire attack level of BAL-29, and the unforgiving hot summer sun. It was the raw natural beauty of the place that drew our clients there. They told us that ‘woora woora’ means ‘sky’ in the local dialect and the sky out here is expansive and beautiful. But on such an exposed site, the sky takes on a paradoxical relationship for us; providing all that we need to be self-sufficient but also imposing the harsh elements that make this place inhospitable.
Rather than shy away, this bold little house confronts the elements and embraces them, immersing the occupant in the broad landscape beyond. The geometric form is a pure expression of the essence of shelter that we crave in this land – like seeking shade under the branches of a broad tree canopy. The depth of the eaves provides summer shade and shelter from rain. The chunkiness of the eaves is a structural response to the wind loads and visually gives the house a sense of solidity. The strong horizontality of this canopy visually accentuates the undulations of the surrounding landscape. We used a natural palette of materials complementing the location. The external timber, spotted gum, is sustainably harvested and is so durable that it is bushfire resistant. Unlike the corrugated iron vernacular, this will age gracefully, allowing the building to settle into the landscape. Inside, protected by the elements, the spotted gum-lined ceiling and cabinetry will stay forever young. The internal palette is minimal, practical and unadorned, reflecting our client’s brief. Concrete is structure, thermal mass, benchtops and hearth. Oriented strand board (OSB), a structural bracing, is appropriated as internal wall lining and cabinetry and painted black. These dark, moody finishes emphasise the sense of shelter. The reflective lustre of the burnished concrete, the sheen of the timber and the mirrored splash backs also increase the soft ambient light and amplify the views beyond, celebrating the awesome nature of this site viewed from a position of comfortable refuge. Publications: Vantage Point, Green Magazine Issue 67, May 2019 Elemental House, The Age Domain, 26th April 2019 Awards: Houses Awards 2019, Shortlisted Sustainability Awards 2019, Finalist Interior Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) 2019, Shortlisted Timber Design Awards 2019, Finalist Project Team: Ben Callery + Tim Shallue Photography:  Jack Lovel + Dave Kulesza Builder: Keenan Built
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Town House Turnaround, Northcote

Helping a Quarter Life Crisis

A house only 28 years old shouldn’t really need a renovation, right?! But some of the nineties townhouses were built terribly, concerned mainly with maximising yield for speculative developers, not live-ability for the occupants or environmental sustainability. They were often small, pokey, dark, poorly oriented and poorly insulated. But structurally they are usually fine, and they are often well located in established suburbs with good communities. Built in clusters of two, three or four, it would be difficult to get planning permission to demolish and rebuild. And environmentally, with the embodied energy contained within the structure, it is difficult to reconcile demolishing and sending to landfill a building less than thirty years old. So we took up the challenge of renovating this 1991 townhouse and help it through it’s quarter life crisis. The original was a shocker: It was dark and squishy. So small that doors collided with each other. It was poorly oriented with all of its windows facing south or west with no opportunity for warming northern sun. The only room with a north facing window was the laundry! All of the windows were single glazed and enclosed by external roller shutters (a puzzling choice in a friendly neighbourhood!) meaning that these windows did not even gain ambient light or cross ventilation. The poor levels of insulation meant that the existing house had an energy rating of only 1.7 stars. Stylistically it was confused. Despite being built in the nineties, it wasn’t really modern or contemporary but instead had faux-heritage details like ornate federation fretwork, bulkheads and and chunky turned timber balustrades which, in dark brown timber, visually cluttered the compact spaces making them feel even smaller. So how did we approach this townhouse turnaround? Firstly we upgraded the buildings entire envelope to improve its thermal performance. We installed new insulation in the floor, walls and roof. We installed new double glazed windows throughout with electrically operated external blinds (fabric, not shutters so they still let in ambient light and breezes) to the west facing windows. These measures, along with the new north-facing windows we provided, raised the energy rating to 6 stars.
But the most profound change was was to re-orient the house and open it up. We knocked out the laundry wall to make the kitchen bigger and provide a new large north facing window. This connected the living rooms to a new sunny north facing deck in what had previously been a dreary services yard. This brings warming winter sun into the kitchen and meals room energising these spaces, providing natural light and creating a sense of space greater than its modest footprint. We opened up the wall between the meals and living room so that the new L-shaped living zone now has windows on four sides, opening it up for cross ventilation and visual connection to garden on all sides and neighbouring treetops. We raised the ceiling in the kitchen/meals, raking it to match the underside of the existing roofline. The impact is dramatic, making the space feel much bigger without increasing the footprint. We demolished the old stair with its chunky balustrade and replaced it with an open tread stair with visual transparency creating a sense of spaciousness throughout the ground floor. Bright new colours and reflective surfaces bounce light around increasing the sense of space. We didn’t actually increase the footprint at all except for the addition of a new deck and pergola, the only extension permitted by the planning regulations. But this becomes an outdoor room surrounded by a new garden by Sam Egan gardens and views to the friendly neighbourhood streetscape. We questioned the need for excessive spaces that have become modern norms. There is no butler’s pantry, instead a well appointed space-saving appliance cupboard/pantry with bi-fold doors. We deleted the space-hungry walk in robe and instead provided a well designed, but compact, cupboard robe. We  gave the space gained to the bathroom which contains a new euro-style laundry and the space from the old laundry was in turn given to the north-facing windows of the kitchen and meals area, a more valuable use of that space and orientation. The new layout is flexible. There is no main bedroom as such, but bedrooms on both the lower and upper floors that have great robes and access to a bathroom next door (instead of a dedicated en-suite) allowing the occupants to switch levels as age and mobility requires. We applied new surfaces to the existing structure including a new spotted gum floor, rendering the bricks and painting the tiled roof. All of these surface finishes, with a few key structural changes, and the spatial re-orientation have given this young building a second life with a more open, bright and environmentally friendly future. Publications: Sanctuary Magazine Issue 49, November 2019 Project Team: Ben Callery + Tim Shallue +  Jennifer Payette Photography: Jack Lovel Builder: Truewood Constructions Landscape: Sam Egan Gardens Cabinetry: Chris Cabinets Styling: Sarah Minson
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Glide House, Flemington

the spirit of adventure

“We hired Ben to help us create a sun-filled creative space that made the most of our Northern Aspect (particularly in winter). Ben expertly guided us through the briefing, design and tender process – making sure every detail was accounted for to a very high standard. He also was extremely patient and tirelessly answered our questions no matter how basic or small they were! From start to finish the design and build process was a lot of fun and everyone involved from Ben to Truewood Construction (builders) made the process so incredibly easy and stress free – we would not hesitate to recommend them. The end result is a wonderful and creative space that is very hard to leave. In Winter the sun streams in and 12 degrees outside registers as 20+ degrees inside – a testament to good design at work. ” – Christina and Mark

Our clients recently returned to Melbourne from years of travelling and working overseas ‘chasing the sun.’ They exuded that wonderful sense of adventure, optimism, enthusiasm and creativity experienced when travelling. We wanted the extension to their Melbourne home to embody those dynamic feelings. 

Meanwhile it would respond to our client’s brief for a house that uses environmentally sensitive materials and a creative form to harness the sun and be naturally comfortable and beautiful.

Their double fronted block in Flemington, despite its modest size, is blessed with a beautiful northerly rear aspect and views of established native trees all around. The sculptural roof glides over the extension responding to these site opportunities while embodying their adventurous spirit. The roof twists symmetrically around a central ridge, soaring up and out over the backyard to embrace the winter sun. At the southern end the roof gently wraps downwards to each side with sweeping eaves that shelter the house from hot summer afternoon and morning sun. Clerestory windows allow visual connection with street trees beyond and catch high southerly breezes to create cross ventilation. The triangular highlight frames views of the old Edwardian pressed metal roof and chimneys. Like a traveller reflecting upon their hometown from abroad, we look back at the original part of the house, see its foibles and imperfections, and love it all the more for these eccentricities.

The materials are an eclectic collection (as is a traveller’s way) selected to express and accentuate the form: The lines of the white timber ceiling express the shape of the hyperbolic paraboloid roof.  The raw charred black timber cladding contrasts the white ceiling to heighten the sense of lightness.  Recycled timber cabinetry, recycled brick pavers and timber windows with locally sourced hardwoods express our clients desire to re-use where possible and to source local materials to minimise their environmental impact. High levels of insulation, double glazing and thermal mass help maintain stable temperatures creating a naturally comfortable home that as our clients say is “hard to leave.”

Photography: Tatjana Plitt

Builder: Truewood Construction

Publications: 

Pigeon Pair, Sanctuary Issue 41, Summer 2017/18

 

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Lean-2, Northcote

“From the first meeting with Ben, we felt he understood us and what we hoped to achieve with the renovation of our house. He saw what irked us about our small, dark and wonky old weatherboard, yet he also understood why we wanted to retain some of it. What Ben designed is a practical new extension that adjusts easily and cleverly to the notorious fluctuations in Melbourne’s climate, and provides the extra space a chaotic, growing family requires; but it is also a very creative and beautiful space that we love to spend time in.

We worked with Ben from initial design concept through to practical completion. At every step he was knowledgeable, respectful and receptive to our ideas, and he kept us in check when our fanciful ideas threatened to blow the budget! He and the builder worked effectively and efficiently together, and the finished result is testament to that. Now that we are moved in and the house is littered with the debris of games and toys, we realise that ours is a house that is not precious, but is of great value to us, and one that we hope Ben will continue to visit for the occasional beer!” – Alexa & Gregor

At Lean-2 we’ve put a new spin on the quirky and quaint elements of the typical lean-to, with a compact but spacious second lean-to on an existing house with a difficult orientation. In an age where social media emphasises image, encouraging consumption, size and excess this house celebrates modesty of scale and quality of space and simplicity of materials.

We all know the classic Australian lean-to:

Three walls and a single pitched roof abutting a taller existing building as an appendix to the original.

They often come in two’s or three’s they get progressively smaller like a row of babushka dolls.

Despite their modest scale and tight spaces, they offer some positives that are worth re-interpreting: Once-external cladding becomes internal lining boards and previously external windows become internalised creating interesting views and connections between rooms. They are inherently low and compact, providing cosy intimate spaces within. Their visual bulk is diminutive, resulting in negligible overshadowing on its own backyard.

Our clients, a young family of four, needed more space for their family to grow.They wanted flexibility to allow the house to adapt to changing needs and to accommodate visiting family members. They wanted a degree of openness to facilitate connections between family members. They sought greater connections with the elements, warming sun and cooling breezes, to create natural comfort and reduce their environmental footprint. But the main challenge on their site was the orientation, north to front, making it difficult for the living rooms at the back of the house to engage with the sun.

We retained the existing high pitched roof over the front four rooms and the low adjoining roof form of the original lean-to. Then Lean-2 adopts the classic single pitch skillion roof but rather than tuck it under the existing roof (as the usually do) it projects high over it creating, a clerestory highlight window to get sun down into the new living rooms.

We inserted a north-west facing courtyard which is a compact but sunny occupiable outdoor space. It’s operable folding arm awning allows it to adapt to all seasons. The courtyard facilitates cross views from the man living space into the flexible studio space across the courtyard. This replicates that sense of views through rooms typical of lean-tos but meets the contemporary need for passive interaction between occupants allowing them to supervise and be in contact while not necessarily in the same room.

The roof form, 4m high at the northern end, takes dramatically downwards to be only 2.7m at the southern end, replicating that modest sense of scale and negligible visual bulk from the back yard which is so important on a site with this orientation.

The materials are modest and domestic but honest, natural and robust. Concrete floor, plywood ceiling, timber windows, exposed rafters, recycled brick pavers and folding arm awnings are all part of the vernacular of the lean-to but put together in a refined way to elevate them from simple domestic construction.

 

Photography: Jack Lovel

Builder: Keenan Built

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Treetop House, Northcote

“We hired Ben to design our new home in Northcote and we could not be happier with that decision. From the outset he listened and understood the brief of light; trees and breeze with connectedness and retreat. Sustainability and our budget were always masterfully matched. Ben is an excellent communicator and we were so thankful he project managed the build which meant much less stress for us and an exceptional end product. We would highly recommend Ben to deliver a brilliant design; a transparent process; an eye for detail and all delivered with calm efficient professionalism.” – Liz & Andrew

Treetop House explores architecture that responds to its environment pragmatically but also emotionally, allowing a young family to connect with their leafy surrounds.

Our clients, a family of five, wanted a house that would foster connections within the family whilst providing spaces they could retreat to. They wanted their house to engage with the elements to provide natural comfort, and to embrace the stunning treetop views in the parkland to the rear of their site.

This really sparked our interest, because we think the next level of sustainable design (in addition to practical passive solar techniques, active engagement and sustainable technology) is creating deeper human connection and understanding of the natural environment and our place within it.

The house is designed to amplify the view of the surrounding tree canopies in order to encourage such connections. The height of the kitchen’s raised ceiling frames the treetop views while letting natural light pour in. The clerestory window providing intriguing glimpses to activity on the rooftop deck. This all creates this captivating sense of wonder in this kitchen – the space where the family comes together and radiates from. Lower ceilings in the adjacent spaces provide a sense of safety and coziness. Meanwhile these adjacent spaces are also the zones where family members disperse to pursue their own interests separately while remaining connected with each other.

Upstairs, a turf roof – like an infinity pool in front of an ocean horizon – brings the greenery of the park right into the house. Although not actually trafficable, the sight of the turf creates a feeling of possibility and wonder that stirs the senses.

The cantilevered roof deck draws the occupant out into the treetops within the relative safety and comfort of a high glass balustrade, provides a sense of refuge that heightens the emotional response to that all-important view.

Importantly, the underlying principles of sustainable design are still present. The courtyard layout brings warming winter sun into the living rooms over a tall two storey neighbouring roof. The raised ceiling over the kitchen catches more northern sun and southerly breezes. The occupant is encouraged to actively engage with the elements, operating the openable windows and electric external blinds as needed in response to the moving sun and shifting breezes to create natural comfort within the house. The house is also specced out with solar power, underground water tanks and thermally efficient materials.

Photography: Nic Granleese + Jack Lovel

Builder: Truewood Construction

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Curvy House, Northcote

Catching the sun

“Ours was a difficult project – a south facing, dark, single fronted terrace with a heritage overlay. Ben’s solution – to curve the roof upwards to allow in northern light – was both beautiful and practical. The design delivered all the things we wanted in our renovation – more light, more space, more openness. But also a stunningly beautiful space to admire every day as well.” – James & Jo, Northcote

This project is another in a series of houses in which we’ve employed creative means of getting sunlight into difficult spaces, while creating an uplifting feeling for the occupant.

The existing house was on a narrow 6.5m wide block with neighbouring walls built on both boundaries, a heritage facade that had to be retained and with the difficult orientation of north to the front – all of which make it hard to get sun in!

In response to these challenges we popped up the roof and then peeled it up towards the north. The large highlight window brings in warming winter sun and the perimeter of clerestory windows brings light in at all times of the day.

The convex curve of the roof bounces direct sun light down into the living space but also creates an illusion of space. The ramp of the peeled roof directs the eye up and outwards increasing the sense of space vertically while the long tail of the roof cantilevering over the back deck accentuating the feeling of length on a small site.

The detailing is carefully considered to create a feeling of floating. The slender structural frame and black steel windows make the roof feel detached. The light coloured ceiling contrasts with the dark solidity of the external walls and cabinetry increasing the sense of weightlessness.

As a result the house is naturally comfortable, warm and bright and a delight to occupy.

Publications:

Kitchen Catalogue, Green Magazine Issue 59

Pigeon Pair, Sanctuary Issue 41, Summer 2017/18

Photography: Tatjana Plitt

Builder: Keenan Built