House on the Hill by ITN Architects

Nov 1, 2013
  • Article by Aidan Halloran
  • Photography by Aidan Halloran
  • Designer
  • Architect ITN architects

Located in Clifton Hill, Melbourne, Australia, the aim was to create an efficient, comfortable family home on a typical inner city site, reusing the salvageable front 3 rooms of the existing victorian terrace. The new is confidently different yet sympathetic to the original, with the timber of the new balanced by the brick of the old. On the upper level, windows are strategically punched to frame views of the neighbouring church, the nearby shot tower and the city skyline.

The design allows private zones for adults and children, adaptable living spaces that can be semi- open or enclosed, depending upon mood or weather. It allows views to distant spaces and private courtyards. It allows for ample light and cross ventilation.

The new works are entirely timber clad – delineating strongly between the old and new. This highlights the age and texture of the existing, throwing it into pleasant relief. The forms are derived from the interior functions with window seats punching through the upper level timber box, and deep set glazing to the north facing garden end. Two internal courtyards break up the plan into discrete areas, and provide quiet private space – a bonus in the inner city.

The brief was satisfied, with the clients desiring good separation between adults and childrens areas, as well as adaptable semi-open living spaces. Light, ventilation and views to local landmarks were all provided to the clients satisfaction. They were also looking for a materiality in the design, so exposed joists, lining boards and raw timber cladding were also incorporated.

As always, the clients and builder contributed greatly to achieving a good result.

The project is a good example of retaining what is significant of the existing and enhancing this by highlighting the difference in the new. The new volume on the upper level is separated from the old by a deck, which besides adding to the amenity, allows the two eras room to breathe, and gives them both a separate, but equal identity.


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