Text description provided by the architects. The historical model or demonstration home, such as those of the Case Study Houses or Small Home Services, found through many of Melbourne’s northern and western suburbs, are now highly sought after for young families in the suburbs. The aspirations of these houses built in the middle of the 20th century were to maximise space for minimum expenditure though utilitarian materials and uncomplicated formal outcomes.
The clients were keen to explore these values in a renovation that built upon the original form of the house and reference local examples of modernism. The main architectural gesture opens the entire house up to the back garden, a space nurtured by the whole family, as well as bringing in morning sun. The main living space is also relocated to a sun-filled open space. As a young family in a relatively small space, the client knew exactly how they wanted the space to operate – with the kitchen at the centre of the house.
A multipurpose area for homework or dining is adjacent, and the connectivity between these two spaces can be closed or opened up by a flexible screen that moderates privacy. The grid is used as a structure and as a surface to frame and organise the everyday domestic life of the family. Playful colour and super graphics complement the efficiency of this framing device.