BuilderForm2, Michael Harvey
Text description provided by the architects. The home is located in Thornbury, an inner northern suburb of Victoria (Australia) which has a number of early century homes, whose aesthetic we admire. We therefore didn’t want to change the nearly 100 year old part of our house, nor the streetscape but were looking for a contemporary renovation that suited our needs.
Whilst we also required a basic open plan design we didn’t want to live in a large open box and wanted defined areas of functionality. The north facing design encompasses the kitchen as the hub, with a large island bench plus more formal dining area and has copious natural light. The living area to the east protected from the sun and the play area for our small children with a recessed fish tank in the wall surrounded by hidden storage cupboards.
We designed the rear of the home to include passive solar design, so we were blocking out the summer sun but letting in the winter sun that would heat up the polished concrete slab and release heat into the home when needed most in winter.
The windows are double glazed with lowe glass, walls and ceiling had highest r-value insulation possible. The exterior was clad in solid timber ‘spotted gum’ vertical planking that has a beautiful natural feeling, it softens the sharp angles of the rear and keeps within our palette of natural materials. We wanted to showcase that a solar passive home is functional but can also be visually appealing.
One of our main aims was not to over build, respect the neighbours and retain a comfortable and practical rear yard.