Datum House
Tom Blachford
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct link
LightingAbout Space LightingTuba
LightingTom Dixon
Roofing - Colorbond Corrugated Iron Roofing. Colour: Surf Mist.Colorbond
Eveneer Even Raven Matt Planked VeneerElton Group
LightingRichmond Lighting
Blackbutt Timber Veneer Quarter Cut with Clear SealTimberwood Panels

Product Spec Sheet
Roofing - Colorbond Corrugated Iron Roofing. Colour: Surf Mist.
Eveneer Even Raven Matt Planked Veneer
Blackbutt Timber Veneer Quarter Cut with Clear Seal

Datum House

FIGR Architecture & Design as Architects

At the street elevation, Datum House takes subtle cues from the neighbouring properties in roof form and material references. The project takes inspiration from its surroundings and context and reinterprets its findings through a contemporary take on a traditional Victorian elevation, resulting in a considered outcome and street integration. We started off with our client’s extensive brief for a home that had to house a growing family of 5. Our domestic container envelope was derived from a simple extrusion of the Victorian cottage silhouette, placed onto the narrow sloping site to set up a defined datum. The outcome is a result of the envelope being manipulated by the surrounding context, the required amenity and its negotiation with the existing site constraints.


The split-level arrangement was a response to the conditions of the sloping site and the site constraints of the neighbouring dwellings. The program has been carefully arranged and contained within the extruded envelope to respond to the rescode requirements for side setbacks and furthermore to formally integrate the building into its context. The final outcome is as much about the atmosphere and spaces within the house as it is about the connection of those spaces to its context and surroundings.


The idea to subtract a volume from the envelope of the building to create a centrally located courtyard evolved as a strategy to offer the house access to natural light and to provide the rooms with visual amenity. Insertions into the envelope in the form of the black metal shrouds establish openings that relate to both visual and natural light amenity. These moments open our domestic container envelope to reveal elements of the context beyond. A large pivot window extends the daybed into the rear yard to transform the window into a seating and reading platform.


A central courtyard is presented at the entry. Stepping into the entry alcove the clients are presented with a choice to turn left and enter into the main living quarters, to go straight and access the central courtyard or to turn right to take 5 steps up into the green carpeted retreat or 14 steps down into the lower ground kids bedroom quarters. Datum house is divided into 3 levels, ground level housing the open plan living with a linear kitchen arrangement tying together the dining and living spaces, flanked by the backyard to the south and the central courtyard to the north. Level 1 contains the retreat/study, European laundry, main bedroom and ensuite and lower ground houses 3 kids bedrooms, bathroom & WC.


Material Used :
1. Roofing - Colorbond Corrugated Iron Roofing. Colour: Surf Mist.
2. External Walls - Weatherboard, Ship Lap Cladding Stained with Cutek Clear, Concrete Blockwork Walls
3. Internal Walls - CSR Plaster
4. Flooring - Blackbutt Timber Flooring with Clear Seal
5. Window Frames - KDHW Timber Framed Windows
6. Lighting - Tom Dixon, Richmond Lighting, About Space
7. Kitchen - Eveneer Even Raven Matt Planked Veneer from Elton Group & Blackbutt Timber Veneer Quarter Cut with Clear Seal from Timber Wood Panels

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Nihonbashi, Chuo City, Tokyo, Japan - Build completed in 2018
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