Clifton Hill House
Deftly entwining the individual and shared spaces of a home, this renovation provides a rich diversity to domestic life within a small site.
This project threads a series of new spaces through an existing home and across a small inner suburban site. A line of circulation, starting in the original dwelling’s entrance hallway, turns up through the building and into a new first floor corridor. As it passes through three layers of building (original, an earlier addition and the new works) it organises internal and external spaces into three zones: parents’, children’s and shared.
A diagonal connection from the original home to an earlier addition visually extends this line out from the house, providing one edge of a new outbuilding. Appearing like a piece of the house has slipped along this axis and back into the rear of the site, the outbuilding contains a workshop and a music room that opens onto a courtyard created between new and renovated areas. Above this courtyard, a timber screened ensuite and study space loom, their undercroft thinning out into a canopy that tethers the music room to the main dwelling.
TThe house holds the variety of spaces that are expected of a contemporary home, where bedroom, dining and living spaces are augmented with spaces for study, work, play and home-based business. To find space for these activities and to arrange them well, the design delicately prods and pulls at the site’s regulatory and physical constraints. The edges of the planning envelope are expressed in the upstairs bedrooms, giving each an individual, attic-like quality. Despite overlooking restrictions, each has a unique outlook. Throughout the home one space occupies the edge of another; a study makes up one wall of the first-floor corridor, the music room the threshold between the courtyard and the shed, an ensuite sits within a window.
Though a domestic project, the effect of this architecture is somewhat urban. Moving through the house – its contingent, unfolding spatial character, its precincts and bolt-holes – is not unlike the experience of drifting through a city. On a small site this provides spatial qualities of generosity and diversity, and with them, a capacity to accommodate a family while hosting individual interests.
- Full Services
Project Director: Simon Whibley
Project Team: Gab Olah, Eilidh Ross, Jacqueline Tang
Photographer: Tatyana Plitt
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