Layer House

Jun 19, 2009
  • Article by Online Editor
  • Photography by Aidan Halloran
  • Designer
  • Architect ITN architects

The project is an extensive refurbishment and extension to an existing large family house, originally designed by one of the pioneers of Melbourne modernism, Peter McIntyre. The house had been modified in the 60s, 70s and 90s, with different materials and styles of each era layered throughout. The changing needs of a large family, (they have their own basketball team), with children now mainly in their teens, made the existing house inadequate.

The house was re-orientated to embrace the new rear courtyard and lap pool, with an emphasis on a capacity to entertain large family groups, particularly for hosting Friday night shabbat dinners.

The unusually large front garden was under utalised. This was divided into more private spaces, that will actually be used. The master bedroom and ensuite share a completely private courtyard, while the study now has a semi private kitchen garden. This still left room for a half size basketball court, storeroom and parking.

The design attempts to work with the various historical layers, preserving and highlighting the best elements, such as the cedar lined ceilings and terracotta tiles, while unifying the various parts into a consistent whole, and allowing 21st century amenities to be introduced.

Landscape: Rick Eckersley of Eckersley Stafford

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