Who lives here: A couple and their daughter, and their 2 cocker spaniels
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Year built: 2013
Size: 3,670 square feet (341 square meters)
Architect:Robert SchulbergThe couple wanted a contemporary design that would be sympathetic to the scale and character of the adjoining properties. The plan would include a selection of interesting exterior materials to assist in breaking down the mass of the building’s elevations while marking the new residence as an independent entity.The design solution worked around the permissible building envelope, with setbacks minimized and building heights maximized to provide the building form. Architect Robert Schulberg avoided building walls on boundaries, which could have had a negative impact on the adjoining properties. The result is a townhouse that radiates a feeling of spaciousness through numerous glazed connections to the exterior and interior features, such as an open glass fireplace and a slatted staircase.
Stepping though the front door and down a short hall, visitors first encounter a spacious living area. A black and white theme throughout the house creates a dramatic backdrop for the warmer tones of the furnishings.
“The monochromatic black and white color scheme for the house was a challenge,” Schulberg says. “But we managed to add warmth and comfort by introducing different textures and materials to complement the color choices of our clients.”
The fireplace, a feature in the living room, connects the study and living area. It has an open front, a glass side and double-paned glass facing the study. This design allows for function and aesthetics in both rooms, but its beauty lies in the double glazing, which limits drafts and noise transference to the study.
The living area is generously sized and open, and leads to a small but versatile outdoor space. An easement determined the orientation of the house and where this outdoor area could be positioned. The dogs use this unbuildable space.
The orientation of the house, with the extended veranda roof to the west and the eaves above, allows for extensive glass. This provides abundant natural light to the interior, while the generous eaves protect the interior from direct sun.
Here is the plan of the new house, showing how it is positioned in relation to the original home, marked in gray.
On the ground floor of the new home, the couple envisioned a large, open-plan living area with kitchen, laundry, powder room and study, opening to a small garden area and with car parking spaces for both houses.