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Hill House – Andrew Maynard Architects

Andrew Maynard Architects: www.maynardarchitects.com

LANDSCAPE, OVERLAP, SUSTAINABILITY 

 

Design is complex. There is little that is more complex to design than a home, however fundamental issues offer an architect a starting point; where is the sun? How do we capture it in winter, how do we exclude it in summer? The thin allotments that dominate Melbourne’s northern suburbs often provide indomitable constraints to solar access and therefore require the production of unorthodox ideas to overcome these constraints and convert them into opportunities. Rather than repeating past mistakes and extending from the rear in a new configuration, the proposal was to build a new structure on the rear boundary, the southern edge of the block, upon the footprint of what had been, until now, the back yard. The new structure faces the sun employing passive solar gain. Saturating itself with sunlight. The new structure faces the original house. The backyard is now the centre of the house activated by the built form around it. The old house is converted into “the kids’ house”. The old house is as it once was. The rear of the simple masonry structure, though spatially connected, is not reoriented, a face is deliberately not applied. It is left honest and robust. With a restrained piece of “street art” to be applied. Hill House is far more sustainable than first appearance suggests. It is a deliberate attempt to avoid any aestheticizing of the project’s sustainable credentials. The whole strategy was to get the house in the backyard to face the sun and to get passive solar performing optimally.

 

AMA Team: Andrew Maynard, Mark Austin, Tommy Joo

Project location: Northcote, VIC, Australia

Building surveyor: Metro Building Surveying www.metrobs.com.au

Engineer: Robin Bliem & Associates www.rbliem.com.au

Builder: Ficus Constructions www.ficusconstructions.com.au

Landscaping: Bonnie Grant United Natures Atelier unitednaturesatelier.com

Photographers: Peter Bennetts www.peterbennetts.com; Nic Granleese www.nicgranleese.com

Date of construction completed : January 2012

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