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Architecture: Milk Carton house extension

November 6, 2011

Inspired by ideas of ‘fiction architecture’, Simon Thornton designs a residential extension in Brunswick that represents a milk carton.

Comprising of a bathroom, toilet and passage linking front and rear gardens, and a stair to an upper level studio, the Milk Carton is a modest and economical structure clad in flat steel sheet with a colour bonded finish. Apart from the unusual hip-gable roof with vertical fin it is all minimum-cost, but includes a concrete ground floor for thermal mass, while all windows are double glazed for minimal heating costs. Sun shades and privacy screens are carefully shaped in a ‘cut and fold’ aesthetic to maximise winter sun input and minimise summer sun, while maintaining privacy in the neighbouring back yards on each side.

So, why a milk carton? The concept is driven by the idea that narratives in architecture should do more than respond to purpose, function or context in a way that we describe as ‘creative non-fiction’. Architect Simon Thornton argues for ‘fiction architecture,’ where the initial concept is drawn from the realm of the free imagination, and where the visitor is asked to engage in an exercise of make-believe in order to engage with the project.

As with fiction in literature, it is not a question of asking ‘Why?’ Just enjoy it!

Team Architect: Simon Thornton

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