Malvern House by Dan Webster Architecture
Located in Malvern, an inner suburb of Melbourne, Australia, the Malvern House is a two-story contemporary family residence which replaced a single-story weatherboard miner’s cottage. The new house attempts to provide an improved use of the land.
Designed by Dan Webster Architecture to fit their clients wishes who were already aware of the softer elements of design which made explaining a lot easier for the architects. The ground floor was designed to open up to the north, connecting the main entertaining and living spaces while also creating a sun filled courtyard.
From the architects: “This new home is in Malvern, and sits on a tight lane, with small street setbacks to most properties, with a sense of inner city living. This home replaced a single storey weatherboard miner’s cottage, and attempts to provide an improved use of the land, with a two storey home plus a basement.
The clients father was an architect, so the clients did not require any convincing of the importance of engaging an architect, and the value that can be added by working through the design process with one. The clients were already aware of the softer elements of design – for example, orientation, prevailing winds, natural light and passive solar design. The ground floor was designed to open its main entertaining and living spaces to the north, creating a sun filled courtyard, perfect for their lifestyle.”
“The street elevation angles away from its neighbour in towards the site, to open up the visual presence of the facade, and not impose on the street. In a developing pocket in Malvern, the design of this home has taken into consideration the evolving nature and varied styles of residential architecture to its immediate surrounds, proposing a simple but timeless material palette.
Being conscious of the visual bulk of a two storey home in this street was important, so the basement has been used to incorporate more amenity than a typical basement, reducing the program to the first floor, and hence the size of the home above ground. This also provides greater flexibility for the owners, with multiple zones being created throughout the home for children in late high school and early university.”
“The street only carries one way traffic, and there is no on street parking, so a single parking space has been provided for casual parking in the front yard. Cars can pull their noses in under the cantilevered timber clad form, screening the western sun to the casual office space on the stair landing.
The home was completed in August 2016, since when the clients have moved in, and are living in their home. The home gives the clients the flexibility they were after, with their three adult children, and the ability for them to have their own separate spaces. Connectivity between the inside and the outside was really important to the client, which the design caters for. The courtyard runs down the northern boundary (side), accessible from the master bedroom, kitchen, dining and living areas.”
“The timber screen to the front of the home, softens the appearance of the front façade, and adds a natural element to the overall composition. Over time, this timber is going to be left to grey out, so that it suits the overall tones of the rest of the home.
One of the challenges with this project was to create a home that looked contemporary and edgy, yet timeless. The vertical silvertop ash battens achieves the aesthetic required from the front, but also provides a practical screening from the sun for the study.”