Through an overlay of balance and repeated patterns, Split House emerges as an extension of the existing cottage roofline, expanding and connecting the home internally. FMD Architects proposes a series of contemporary volumes that pull light inward and connect to the generous rear garden.
An extension to an existing Melbourne cottage, Split House is the coming together of a series of volumes, splitting zones and functions through subtle gestures. Within its heritage context, the interventions are deliberately considered and aim to fit cohesively within the architectural vernacular. The roofline of the original home is extended toward the rear, which is then carved into with an opening that encourages natural light into the centre of the home. The result is one of balance and repetition. FMD Architects opens up the existing to address and connect to the rear and generous garden aspect, while also connecting its internal zones.
The extrusion of the roofline creates a voluminous form under which a connected living, dining and kitchen space rests. The formality of the original plan of the home and the double-barrel corridor popular of its time is extended into the new elements, and a resulting pattern is created. Internally, the roofline follows the same undulation as the external, offering cranked ceiling planes to engage with incoming daylight throughout the day. The void created between the two main extruded forms allows optimal northern light to be brought inward to aid in creating a naturally illuminated family home.
FMD Architects opens up the existing to address and connect to the rear and generous garden aspect, while also connecting its internal zones.
The extensions north-facing floor-to-ceiling glazing connects the internal with the external, which is then accentuated by the expansive rear deck as it extends the floor plate. Clad in spotted gum, the tactility of the timber counterbalances the original home and was chosen for its low embodied energy and maintenance requirements. Designed to be inherently sustainable, orientation and passive solar mechanisms reduce heat gain and maximise natural illumination, impacting the energy consumption deliberately. The combination of an exposed polished concrete slab and built in custom joinery also adds a sense of permanence and weightiness. Through a close collaboration with Fisher & Paykel, the kitchen is conceived as a working and integrated whole and as a primary gathering space, bringing its inhabitants together.
Split House sees subtle references the to the angles in the overall form echoed in the joinery and a palette imagined to last beyond the contemporary condition. FMD Architects combines a multi-disciplinary approach through a holistic lens to extend the life of the original home and infuse unique geometric opportunities to connect.