This House Never Ends

This House Never Ends

Architect
Steffen Welsch Architects
Location
Melbourne VIC, Australia | View Map
Project Year
2020
Category
Private Houses
Shannon McGrath
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
ManufacturersVibia
Rigid thermal insulationKingspan Group
Acoustic perforated ceiling VogleFugeAtkar
Timber screensBritton Timbers
Hot water heat pumpSanden
PV cellsSunpower

Product Spec Sheet
Manufacturers
Skan by Vibia
Rigid thermal insulation
Acoustic perforated ceiling VogleFuge
by Atkar
Timber screens
Hot water heat pump
by Sanden
PV cells

This House Never Ends

Steffen Welsch Architects as Architects

Nestled in a heritage protected inner-city suburb of Melbourne this is a home with a sense of discovery.


Designing a family home can be a complex venture: a house should be functional, environmentally sensitive, affordable and a good fit into the neighbourhood. A home should provide shelter with a sense of space that is your own; it should be light filled and warm. This determines siting, layout, room proportions and the articulation of the building fabric through openings, materials and details.


This is an extension at the back of an Edwardian weatherboard house in a residential area with an historic but diverse building stock. The built neighbourhood is dense, fragmented and eclectic, providing starting point and inspiration for our design. We opted to stretch the building over the entire length of the site, rotated it 45 degrees and pulled it apart. A somewhat unexpected move, this generated an interesting sequence of interconnected spaces and an experience of gradual revelation as you move through the house.

 

Arrival

The house was designed for arriving by bicycle. Entry is now through a new north facing courtyard facing that separates the old house from the new extension at the rear and provides a sense of arrival. It is formed by three walls with three different materials: weatherboard of the old house, recycled brick of the new part and a link clad in a timber screen.

 

The Unexpected

The timber link organises the home into children’s wing in the old and communal living areas in the new part. Placing the new buildings in a 45-degree angle generates vistas through rooms and outdoor spaces, creating complexity and depth.

 

Open to The Sky

Upstairs areas in inner-city houses can often be neglected due to overlooking, building bulk and overshadowing. In many cases, they have very little relationship with the immediate neighbourhood. This house does the opposite: a first-floor patio accessible from the lounge and study is private but provides views of neighbouring buildings as well as your own. A private terrace on the second floor allows for views over rooftops, the city and the nearby mountains.

 

Materials and Details

An important attribute of a home should be thermal comfort, which is most enjoyed when achieved with passive means. The design of this house applies passive solar design principles: solar control, zoning and compartmentalisation, thermal mass, insulation and cross ventilation. It is highly insulated, features high-performance double-glazed timber doors and windows and is high in thermal mass assisted by recycled bricks for internal walls. Power is generated with a 4.75 kW grid interactive photovoltaic system. The home does not use gas; heating and hot water are generated through a heat pump; the cooktop is induction.

 

Overall, this is a comfortable family home on literally many levels. Rather than being a single object it is conceived as a series of different spaces and textures that let you experience the house like a journey that may never end.

Featured Projects
Latest Products
News
Immersive Golong Wormhole visually represents the transformative nature of a beauty and wellness brand
25 May 2022 News
Immersive Golong Wormhole visually represents the transformative nature of a beauty and wellness brand

In Hangzhou, China, the Golong Wormhole by PINES ARCH is an experimental space for events and exhibi... More

Villa RS by JUMA Architects employs charred wooden cladding and horizontally oriented planes to blend with the Belgian landscape
25 May 2022 News
Villa RS by JUMA Architects employs charred wooden cladding and horizontally oriented planes to blend with the Belgian landscape

In the Flemish Ardennses, Villa RS by JUMA Architects is situated in a picturesque landscape with ch... More

Kindergarten for Llubi expresses in built form two converging patterns from its landscape context
24 May 2022 News
Kindergarten for Llubi expresses in built form two converging patterns from its landscape context

In the small Mallorca town of Llubi, this new kindergarten by Aixopluc Architects is located on a pe... More

25 best architecture firms in Mexico City
23 May 2022 News
25 best architecture firms in Mexico City

Mexico City is home to a number of outstanding, epoch-defining architectural firms. Its contemporary... More

New Singer Museum wing by Bedaux de Brouwer Architecten offers a balanced experience of art, architecture and garden
22 May 2022 News
New Singer Museum wing by Bedaux de Brouwer Architecten offers a balanced experience of art, architecture and garden

In Tilburg, NL, the new Nardinc wing of the Singer Museum by Bedaux de Brouwer Architecten houses th... More

Al Naseej Factory: A woven architecture that celebrates local craftspeople
22 May 2022 News
Al Naseej Factory: A woven architecture that celebrates local craftspeople

Located in Bani Jamrah, Bahrain, the Al Naseej Factory by Leopold Banchini is a textile weaving faci... More

Merk X revitalizes Amsterdam Zoo natural history building that was closed for 75 years
20 May 2022 News
Merk X revitalizes Amsterdam Zoo natural history building that was closed for 75 years

The neoclassical building was built between 1850 and 1855 to a design by Johannes van Maurik as a na... More

82,000 unique, hand-crafted tiles clad the new extension to Museum Arnhem by Benthem Crouwel Architects
20 May 2022 News
82,000 unique, hand-crafted tiles clad the new extension to Museum Arnhem by Benthem Crouwel Architects

In addition to restoring the original Museum Arnhem building, complete with characteristic historic... More