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Tear Away house by Splinter Society uniquely reimagines the modern family home

Tear Away house by Splinter Society uniquely reimagines the modern family home


The Fitzroy-based firm has created a modern family home in response to a series of unconventional site conditions caused by the division of a heritage estate in Ivanhoe. 

Tear Away is a double-storey masonry house connected by a parting wall to the original adjoining home. 

The team implemented a vertical rupture through an unfinished brick wall which also incorporated in-situ concrete to achieve a similar solidity and fenestration to the original brick portion of the building. 

Tear Away house by Splinter Society.

A concrete wall has been underpoured and left raw in an effort to create a soft edge to the natural surroundings. 

The upper level is also raked to hide a rooftop balcony with views of the city skyline. These design choices ultimately reflect the client’s professional experience as both a concreter and structural engineer. 

Lightweight materials comprise a void between the old and new ruptures and therefore increase access to light and outlooks. The team also recognised the potential to create an interplay between light and texture.

Positioning the void on the south side of the home allows for exposure to the westerly sun, alongside an old eucalyptus tree featuring in a prime viewing position. 

Tear Away’s simple interior spaces contrast against the complex site response, creating an interesting blend of the old and new. 

The open-plan kitchen is separated from the living and dining room by a thin, black steel staircase. Enhancing the home’s already abundant uniqueness is the inclusion of spaces such as balcony passageways and an expansive underground games room.

Tear Away house defies convention in both integrating with and diverging from the original house structure, developing a multifaceted and innovative interpretation of the modern family home. 

Photography by Sharyn Cairns.

For more in design news, see 835 High Street by Carr – A new streetscape rhythm


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