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A House for Hermes is the outcome of a collaboration between the architect and a client working as an artist and landscape architect. Sited on the northwest edge of Philip Island, the project involved the conversion of a heritage-listed chicory kiln into a couple’s residence. The design was conceived as part of an ongoing exploration of what might constitute “home” or “place” in a world where prevailing conditions are of speed, dynamism and change. This conceptual framing extended from an earlier art installation undertaken by the client that was exhibited at Tarrawarra Museum of Art in 2007. The architecture is predicated, not on the rehearsed acts of enclosure or through the predetermined functions that define a house, but on the idea of facilitating and celebrating transformation and movement. Through the use of adaptive and reconfigurable spaces and the manipulation of thresholds and passages, the house is intended to be a place that engages with and is a catalyst for change. A sense of “open-endedness” – of new possibilities of inhabitation – is reinforced by the treatment of an interior landscape defined by contiguous interlocking volumes that encompass the exterior decking and surrounding context. This desire for serendipity is partly a response to Georges Perec’s question: “We should learn to live more on staircases. But how?” View more View full description
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