Project: 10 Fold House
Architects: Timmins + Whyte Architects
Location: Abbotsford, Melbourne, Victoria Australia
Photographs by: Peter Bennetts
10 Fold House by Timmins + Whyte Architects
Timmins + Whyte Architects have designed the renovation of a single-story Edwardian cottage located in Abbotsford, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. The rebuilt dwelling takes on a contemporary look with a focus on natural lighting.
The original single storey Edwardian cottage was dark and lacked connection to the outside. We used 10 folds in the roof to draw in light along the skinny, long house and site. The folds minimise bulk to the eastern neighbour and rise up to the large two-storey contemporary western neighbour. The house humbly addresses the street with a contemporary tweak to the Edwardian cottage and the two storey part of the house sits further back from the street hiding the bedroom volume behind it.
The rebuilt original room was painted white in keeping with the original cottage on site and the neighbouring houses. The two storey “new” parts of the house were clad and painted a green, colour matched to leaves from the Australian bush. We chose timber windows and doors because they are the parts of the building where our clients interact with most and timber adds warmth to the palette.
Throughout, the space creates its own sense of expansion and compression – from intimate dining to the towering ceiling suspended over a wall of handpicked art. The rearrangement of spaces from the original house has meant that the kitchen and dining are now open to their seasonal and edible garden, where neighbours houses are unseen yet their mature trees, including a palm and Jacaranda, become part of our client’s seasonal experience. True to our design philosophy, this is a considered and crafted home, improving living for our clients ten fold.” The construction is light weight stud frame and roof beams clad in a v join fc sheet painted. The roofs are clad in colorbond metal.
On ground floor the single storey front room acts as a living room, study and guest bedroom on occasion. The laundry and bathroom are central to the plan and a small service courtyard allows views and air from the shower. The garden and northern light is directly accessed from the kitchen and dining space. The opportunity to lounge in this space is also achieved through a sofa and the cushioned L shape banquette seat. Upstairs is a second bedroom and the two bedrooms for our clients and their teenage daughter.
The house uses passive cooling and ventilation to minimise the use of air-conditioning and artificial light and we are told by the client that they couldn’t be happier with how it functions. The client gladly invested in solar panels, water tanks for garden irrigation as well as the opportunity to up-spec the wall and roof insulation which keeps the house at a pretty stable temperature over all seasons. Openable skylights over the stair exhaust hot air out in summer and the upper bedrooms benefit from the heat rising from downstairs in winter.