Expressing the join between the new addition and the adjacent existing home, Tear Away House exposes the building fabric that binds the two dwellings as a celebration of its harmonious coexistence. Splinter Society explores the potential of interstitial spaces and the resulting opportunities that sit between solid and void elements, interweaving the new forms amongst the old.
Located in Ivanhoe surrounded by an eclectic mix of residences added to over the years, Tear Away House becomes part experiment and part adaptive re-use. In seizing on the opportunity of the in-between space that existed between an existing home and an open space, the new home becomes a statement about potential. In adjoining the existing structure, the new combines a modern and crisp approach with an open reminder of the past through the interaction with the ruptured wall of the existing, left exposed and as an active contributor to both old and new. Splinter Society plays with the tension created between differing era spaces, while allowing the fabric of each to remain uncovered and for a definitive coexistence to take place.
Aligned along the southern edge of the existing dwelling, the new spaces sit back from the masonry wall to create an expression of relief between the two. A void of lighter materiality sits to mark this gesture as a sign of restraint, creating a transitional space that bridges the two structures, while allowing light to enter and naturally illuminate below. While navigating the site and its constraints posed a level of complexity, the execution of its parts comes together with a deliberation and simplicity that conceals the challenges. The introduction of contrast between old and new, bright and dark, and heavy and light all add to the story of the home and create an element of depth in the process.
The use of concrete, left showing the markings of its formwork, anchors the new home in place, while also being a stable and solid structure for the lighter elements to be hinged from. As the trade of one of the owners, concrete plays a vital role in forming the spaces and making sense of the otherwise undefined outer edges. Combined then with black steel elements throughout, the two finishes represent an unwavering steadiness, and together with the brickwork and mass of the original, become a more modern interpretation of the original. Spread over multiple levels, the unique home sits as a quiet insertion, reclusive in its own way.