Celebrating the Cantilever – Kew House by March Studio
Kew/Studley Park, VIC, Australia
Inspired by its pioneering mid-century neighbours, Kew House navigates its challenging sloping site with seeming ease. Expressed through a bold cantilevered form, March Studio proposes a modernist home appropriate to its context.
Nestled into the sloping terrain of Melbourne’s Studley Park, Kew House sits comfortably amongst its neighbours, all together in navigating the unconventional topography. Originally deemed unsuitable for building, after World War II the area became an experimental arena for modernist architects to play with form, long spans and cantilevered forms. Studley Park is now known as an adventurous architectural playground in which architects such as Robin Boyd, Anatol Kagan, McGlashan Everist and Peter McIntyre tested ideas. A studio with a similar enthusiasm for experimentation and pushing typified boundaries, March Studio proposes a modernist home that reflects the personality of its owner.
Nestled into the sloping terrain of Melbourne’s Studley Park, Kew House sits comfortably amongst its neighbours, all together in navigating the unconventional topography
A passionate team saw March Studios collaborate with builder Bluline Projects, Co-Struct engineering and Aspect Studios landscape architecture to decipher the site. Core imperatives of the design were to capture as much natural sunlight as possible and to create a connected language between the living and built elements. The structure cantilevers over the site and plays homage to the neighbouring homes and core modernist principles. The entry moment occurs under the cantilever (where the garage is also located) and opens up into the centre of the home, which feels as though it is floating above. A courtyard awaits upon entry, where softened landscaping sits behind a wall of blackened timber.
Expressed through a bold cantilevered form, March Studio proposes a modernist home appropriate to its context.
The interiors, styled by Bea & Co, enable the owner expresses their personality and character through the more tactile elements that they engage with, referencing timeless modernist design. In supporting the home’s program, March Studio arranged each of the internal functions and veiled the exterior with a horizontal screen, which sits off from the façade and creates a colonnade-like effect. The home stretches outward along its linear plan and interacts with the surrounding landscape through curious portals. The screens becomes a transitionary element between the open and closed that allows a degree of privacy, while also enhancing a natural engagement with the elements, as dappled light permeates the interior spaces throughout the day.
From the street, Kew House sits idly behind its screened façade, and it is only upon approach and entry up into the home that one is taken on an experiential journey. March Studio has brought an inquisitive and experimental approach to the challenging site, expressing the ideals of the modernist movement throughout to ensure the home sits comfortably in its milieu.