About the Residence
This terrace home was constructed on one of several low density lots formed within the redevelopment precinct of the Claremont Football Oval. The subdivision plans created a transitional buffer of low-rise housing between a bordering streetscape of pre-war cottages and future high-density, multi-storey apartment buildings. The design explored the interplay between traditional, semi-detached housing stock and a contemporary housing typology that offers the amenity and architectural style of a modern townhouse while paying respect to the heritage environment.
The design covenants developed specifically for the subdivision set a single storey limit to the street-front portion of the home as a concession to the scale of the cottages opposite. The natural orientation of the site also dictated that the best solar penetration of natural light into the home would be achieved by keeping this zone single level. So there was a happy alignment of passive solar-design principles and local planning requirements, which is not always present. Being a terrace house, the challenge to maintain good light and ventilation throughout becomes greater, and the ability of the design to provide generous spaces and volumes even more critical.
Central to the design both spatially and visually, is the alfresco courtyard. As an external living area and light-well at the same time, the home wraps itself around the void on all levels and draws the outside in to extend the sense of space and blur defined zones of the interior/exterior. This sense is reinforced by the use of large, full height sliding glazed doors to both sides of the courtyard connecting the separate living areas. The connection to the street is also maintained courtesy of a framed vista from the entry gallery. Vignettes of weatherboard cottages opposite are visible from inside the house which acknowledges the home’s heritage context and more importantly maintain the existing interface with street activity so valuable in promoting social connections amongst neighbours and the regular walker with their the dogs. The house is not completely introverted in this regard.
Once inside, the tardis-like nature of the home reveals itself. Oak parquetry flooring flows from the entry throughout the entire ground level living areas, its warmth offset by a cool white colour scheme and complimented by tasteful furnishings and light fittings. Green foliage of the potted courtyard plants breathes another, unexpected dimension into the house and softens the architecture from within. The alfresco becomes a visual and functional fulcrum to the home.
Upstairs, the sleeping quarters sit at each end of the house and are divided by a third internalised living area. The master bedroom overlooking the courtyard, drawing in the northern aspect to both the bedroom and ensuite - the latter being divided by a full height feature tiled wall that separates the shower and pan from the main room. The minor bedrooms adjacent to the rear laneway below share a soaring bathroom that extends itself vertically to capture natural sunlight from a dramatic hi-light window at roof level for this potentially windowless room. Natural light is so desirable for these minor rooms that would otherwise rely on artificial lights even during the day, and not have access the cleansing power of the sun. The upper floor lounge room is fed light via an external stair that disappears along the boundary parapet wall to a hidden roof garden. This sun-drenched space offers another outdoor room for entertaining on summer nights looking across the leafy neighbourhood below and beyond to an aspect to the picturesque Lake Claremont.
We engaged Lanigan Architects to design our home in Claremont. The block was tight and needed careful consideration. We provided Tim with our wants and needs, and he exceeded our expectations. We feel lucky to live in a home that is light, bright and welcoming.
Codie & Ryan, Claremont.