Text description provided by the architects. Moving House is a new residence in Kew, Victoria. The external white aluminium screen forms a singular mass in the outline of a suburban gable roof, subtly referencing the immediate neighbours in both form and colour, while the internal spatial volume is defined by the 3 repetitive in-situ concrete vaults.
The external screen holds in suspension the visitors’ first experience of the house - as one passes along the façade towards the entry, it deconstructs to reveal the concrete bodies in a journey of discovery and surprise. The entry sequence finishes in a recess, with raw concrete beams cantilevering out to provide partial shades and refuge, hanging plants from the gutter and grasscrete paving below – all in an Arcadian setting before reaching the Corbusian green door and a finely turned timber handle.
There is no interior narrative sequence but rather a cavernous volume that receives direct northern daylight that changes by the hour and season, or nuanced indirect ambience light on the curve of the textured north facing vaults. These repetitive roof geometries are supported by in-situ off form blade columns, articulating structural clarity and compositional method.
The interior is fully glazed to the east with bi-fold doors and windows with in-situ concrete seats, so that in fine weather it can be fully opened up to the garden, allowing exposure and interaction with the outdoor space. Cross ventilation is also aided by these openings together with the glass louvres at the height of clerestory in the vaults.
This project further represents our continuous interest in phenomenology and experiential journey in architecture and design.
Don Norman talks about design experiences: Visceral experience stands for immediate experience, rather than use or consideration; Behavioural experience stands for experience of the product’s functionality based on use; Reflective experience stands for experience based on close consideration.
In this project, we’ve orchestrated the above 3 experiences from the very moment one first take notice by their eyes of the blue front gate, treading through grasscrete with morning dews wetting their shoes, touching the smooth timber entry handle by their hands, bathing in light shafts from the vault windows on their skin, and gentle breezes from the cross ventilation through their hair…
This project exemplifies what can be achieved by careful orchestration of spaces, manipulation of lights, choreography of materials and tactility.
If the white metal grille defines the visual character of the house from the outside, inside it is the tone and texture of concrete that captures the imagination. On the ceiling, the concrete has been left raw and unpolished, inviting the eye to explore its variations in pattern and colour; on the floor, it is polished and sealed. The effect of so much concrete is anything but heavy or oppressive – the way it has been shaped is delicate, nonlinear and playful; it all adds up to a structure that appears sculptural and light.