This project for an Anglo-Indian family was an assignment in reconciling several conflicting requirements. The clients were keen to emphasis an engagement with landscape, and yet the site is a narrow allotment within a series of inner suburban terraces in North Fitzroy. They wanted to accommodate their extended family for long periods of time while also maintaining a clear sense of identity and separation for themselves and their children. In setting a frame for their internal family dynamics, the clients wanted a house that would be carefully modulated between the private and the social.

The brief and site constraints provoked a design response that reconceptualised the terrace house typology. This strategy of typological deformation could be classified as a “mutant” within the taxonomy framework of this research. The main bedroom areas are located on the ground level with the living spaces above. These “bedrooms” are bracketed by corridors and garden on both sides and borrow from these spaces as they oscillate between spaces for privacy and sleeping to a landscape of familial engagement (an alternative version of the backyard). The landscape is raised over two levels to form the roof of the bedroom zone to establish a separate connection to the living areas. At the top level of the building is a space that can be used as home office and meeting room or grandparents retreat (during overseas visits).


Project Team: Andrew Simpson, Michael Barraclough

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