This contemporary home has been slotted into a narrow neighborhood site in Brunswick East, Australia. The house is set in the midst of a series of worker’s cottages and stands out among it’s older, more traditional, surroundings.
The project, titled Dark Horse, was designed and managed by the Australian firm, Architecture Architecture. Michael Roper and Nick James acted as lead architects and were responsible for overseeing it’s development.
The long and narrow site contains a total area of 1,151.74-square-feet (107-square-meters). About three-quarters of this land is taken up by the two-story home, which probably gives it a total internal floor area in the region of 1,506.95-square-feet (140-square-meters). However, the real focus here is not the size of the home, but how the designers responded to the constraints of the site.
The project was completed back in 2016, and saw the introduction of a contemporary home in an otherwise traditional neighborhood. The architects state that the material finish hints “at the contemporary home within”. I don’t think there’s any subtle hinting; it’s blatantly obvious. A palette consisting of black, white and grey adorns the interior.
The varying tones in the finish helps to create “tonal variation and spatial depth to an otherwise diminutive site… [they] establish a subtle field of spaces that expand and contract”. Color is frequently used to brighten living areas, however it’s less frequently used to create an atmosphere of smaller or larger spaces.
In the more confined areas of the home, the tones are lightened and ceilings heightened to reduce the sense of constriction. Whereas the larger, well lit, living areas have been finished with darker materials that aim to create an atmosphere of coziness. Acoustics have also been accounted for, with some living spaces featuring curtains covering the walls.
To bring natural light into the heart of the home, a central courtyard was introduced: “In the heart of the house, the living areas open onto a courtyard. The high-ceilinged corridors pinwheel out from this heart, establishing a sunlit center around which most daily activity occurs.”
Photos © Peter Bennetts