13.12.2017

Moving House

Moving House is a new residence in Kew, Victoria.

The external white aluminium screen forms a singular mass in the outline of a suburban gable roof, subtly referencing the immediate neighbours in both form and colour, while the internal spatial volume is defined by the 3 repetitive in-situ concrete vaults.

The external screen holds in suspension the visitor’s first experience of the house. As one passes along the façade towards the entry, it deconstructs to reveal the concrete bodies in a journey of discovery and surprise. The entry sequence finishes in a recess, with raw concrete beams cantilevering out to provide partial shade and refuge, hanging plants from the gutter and grasscrete paving below – all in an Arcadian setting before reaching the Corbusian green door and a finely turned timber handle.

If the white metal grille defines the visual character of the house from the outside, inside it is the tone and texture of concrete that captures the imagination. On the ceiling, the concrete has been left raw and unpolished, inviting the eye to explore its variations in pattern and colour; on the floor, it is polished and sealed. The effect of so much concrete is anything but heavy or oppressive – the way it has been shaped is delicate, nonlinear and playful; it all adds up to a structure that appears sculptural and light.

The interior is without narrative sequence; instead a cavernous volume receives direct northern daylight that changes by the hour and season, or nuanced indirect ambient light on the curve of the textured north facing vaults. These repetitive roof geometries are supported by in-situ off form blade columns, articulating structural clarity and compositional method.

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Fully glazed to the east, bi-fold doors and windows open out to the garden while in-situ concrete seats allow exposure and interaction with the outdoor space. These features, combined with glass louvres at the height of clerestory in the vaults, further enhance cross ventilation and the sense of joy.

Moving House embodies our continuous interest in phenomenology and experiential journey in architecture and design.

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