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  7. Barrow House / Austin Maynard Architects

Barrow House / Austin Maynard Architects

  • 00:00 - 18 April, 2009
Barrow House / Austin Maynard Architects
Barrow House / Austin Maynard Architects

Barrow House / Austin Maynard Architects Barrow House / Austin Maynard Architects Barrow House / Austin Maynard Architects Barrow House / Austin Maynard Architects +28

  • Architects

  • Location

    Melbourne VIC, Australia
  • Architects

    Andrew Maynard Architects
  • Landscape

    Glashaus nursery and design
  • Builder

    Clynton Banner
  • Budget

  • Project Year


From the architect. The Barrow extension appears as an arrangement of timber boxes, each independently rotated and subjected to varying amounts of extruding and manipulating forces. These separate actions result in a variety of shapes, which united, create an interior of differing volumes and organizations, providing an interesting double story addition to this weatherboard house.

The extension challenges the traditional nature of timber construction. Normally lightweight and fragile, added wall thickness to different areas results in a structure with a fluctuating sense of mass. The dynamic and varying nature of these environments is further enhanced by differing window arrangements and framing techniques. Frequently the windows are setback within the frame of the wall, sometimes flush and occasionally extruding beyond the timber frame.

This unconventional approach to massing and window design subverts the conservative planar nature of a ‘box'. The movement of the shadows created by these extruding or intruding elements are tracked on the external facade and internal environment, creating varying patterns and giving the extension an undefined geometry.

The external timber cladding wraps itself inside and fuses the extension into the original house, where the old living space now is occupied as a bathroom. Here, there is no evidence of conventional bathroom materiality, the room still maintaining its appearance as a living/dining space. The only defining feature a free standing cast iron bath (reused from the original demolished bathroom) at the centre of the room, demonstrating the capability of a single element to alter the program of a space.

The strategic placement of a separate living space at the western end of the site, reflects the focus of the site internally, frames the large open area & increases privacy levels.

Both this new addition and the extension to the old part of the house, at the western end of the site, openly embrace this central garden space. Definition between indoor and outdoor is blurred by the transparent divisions of bifold doors and large windows; Visual interaction is constant. This central outdoor spaces becomes part of the living circulation space as the diurnal patterns of the occupants see them traverse the yard to the rear living quarters.

The brighter, larger extension nurtures the dynamic, more numerous, day time activities, whilst the low key, more relaxed, activities of the afternoon are enjoyed in the sunroom at the western end of the site reflecting back on the outdoor yard and pool, watching the cinematic shadows play across the irregular face of the Barrow's extension.

The extensive openable window and bifold door arrangement accompanied by Barrow's orientation allows for abundant natural light and ventilation to infiltrate the spaces, decreasing reliance on electrical and heating/cooling systems.

The entirety of the design also employs materials reused from the parts of the previous house as well as recycled or found elements, decreasing the carbon footprint of the design and also adding character to the spaces.

Cite: "Barrow House / Austin Maynard Architects" 18 Apr 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
Read comments


Dokumentarfotografie · April 03, 2011

Barrow House, Australia /// #modern #wood #minimal

loosman · April 24, 2009

you're welcome ornament and crime. I agree with your 'neck turning' comment - a building should make some observation about its setting, and conversely, a setting has the capacity to reveal something about the building - but in this case neither is occuring. I don't like how the weighty box lands on that flimsy deck and is denied contact with the ground.....

Rafael malvar Santos · April 23, 2009

Quero uma destas ;)

ornament and crime · April 23, 2009

I'm taking that as a compliment loosman. Thank you.

loosman · April 23, 2009

ornament and crime - you're a butcher's tile trainspotter

Antti Paasivaara · April 22, 2009 Barrow House / Andrew Maynard Architects

Joshua Martens · April 21, 2009

Beautiful design inspires me. (link via @nicholaspatten)

Boulevard NYC · April 21, 2009

Barrow House / Andrew Maynard Architects (

Lucas Gray · April 19, 2009

A very nice house. Nothing groundbreaking but still successful.

ornament and crime · April 19, 2009

Quite right suvito it is a box - I misread the text.

To clarify my statement, it's the 'turning' I found unnecessary, that's what a neck is for isn't it ?

lm · April 19, 2009

As more money clients have to spent for a house as more associal it will become.....look the bathroom for example :-)

suvito · April 19, 2009

essentially it is a box, all they did is turn the kitchen, to generate a view to the pool. i also like that bathroom, not the tiles in particular, but i think it all fits together in a strange, koolhaas kind of way.

ornament and crime · April 19, 2009

Even better use of white ceramic tiles here Banjamin :

Check out the Cabarita Beach House.

Benjamin · April 19, 2009

White ceramic tiles are awful.. don't go well at all with the nice timber

Andrew Maynard · April 19, 2009

AMA's Barrow house is @archdaily.

Pete Olsen · April 19, 2009

Barrow House / Andrew Maynard Architects | Arch Daily

ornament and crime · April 19, 2009

To be honest, I think a box would've been better.

This is trying too hard to be 'special' on what is a very tight site, there's no need for such extravagance.

Very efficient planning none-the less. The butcher's tiles are lovely and the garage facade is great.


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