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Bryant Street House, Flemington

Reflecting our client’s fascination with Japanese culture, this house brings authenticity to a Japanese sensibility whilst acknowledging its Australian inner suburban context.

  • Client Brief

    Having lived in japan for a period of time, our client for this project had a fascination with Japanese culture and wanted a house that reflected this. An internal courtyard with Japanese garden, a sunken ‘genkan’ entry and a ‘tatami’ room were three components of the brief that would otherwise describe a modest three bedroom home. The sloping vacant block overlooking the Moonee Valley and parts of the city skyline was previously occupied by a double fronted weatherboard dwelling which had burnt to the ground.

    Design Response

    The challenge was how to bring authenticity to this Japanese sensibility within an Australian context using local building techniques and materials. Whilst aspiring to the craftsmanship of traditional Japanese carpentry there was an awareness that such techniques were well out of financial reach. This led to the idea that the formal aesthetic of these jointing systems could inform the overall shape of the building at a supersized scale, whilst keeping the real carpentry and materials within the bounds of everyday building. This approach facilitated heritage streetscape requirements (being symmetrical so in keeping with the double fronted heritage neighbours), facilitated integrated open spaces (such as the courtyard and external decks in counterpoint to the internally closed volumes), accommodated the sloping block (with volumes shifting across the split level in the plan) and allowed for critical site setback requirements (by stacking the form towards the centre of the block).

    Spatially, the courtyard gives controlled privacy to the diverse functions that surround it whilst facilitating cross flow ventilation and day lighting, creating a tranquil inner world at the core of the house. Externally, the perimeter fence enclosure is a natural extension of the architecture, capturing an intimate suite of secure external spaces.

  • Design Specifications

    Services Provided

    • Detailed Concept Design


    Workshop Architecture


    Project Team: James Staughton, Simon Koch
    Photography: Workshop Architecture

    Date completed

    January 2015


    Flemington, Victoria

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