Beneath a Living Blanket – Terrace House 1 by Dreamer Lab
Ascot Vale, VIC, Australia
Terrace House 1 is conceived as a replicable template for thoughtfully and sustainably giving depth and connected living amenity to the traditional terrace home vernacular. Dreamer Lab inserts a restrained and subtle addition to the rear of a heritage home, opening the building up to the elements while blanketing it in its own warming living green roof.
Nestled into a dense heritage enclave of inner Melbourne, Terrace House 1 is aptly named for its status as the first of an intended series of replicable homes. The predicament of needing to repair, replace and extend a heritage home and its commonly ad-hoc additions is an all too familiar tale. Dreamer Lab proposes a considered solution to this challenge. Subtle in its insertion, the proposal is both thoughtful and contextually responsive without dominating or competing with the original heritage home and its ornate crafted features. Instead, the form focuses on a lightness, where clear sightlines and connectedness allow an embrace of the rear landscape and of the natural elements.
Blanketed under its own living and breathing native landscape roof, the space reduced the urban heat island affect and contributes back to the wellness of its residents, and the surrounding area.
Terrace House 1 is a collaboration between builder Never Stop Group, engineer Co Struct and landscape by Fyto Green. As its own object, the form is sealed thermally from the original home, and performs as a climatically controlled and adjustable element. Spread over two levels, the addition also responds to the needs of one of its owners as a frontline medical worker and their transient shift work. The clever compartmentalisation allows uninterrupted movement between the other areas of the house, while still encasing amenity as needed at all hours. Blanketed under its own living and breathing native landscaped roof, the building reduces the urban heat island effect and contributes back to the wellness of its residents and the surrounding area.
A pared back approach sees the form peak out above its bounding fence and sit slightly on the site. Considered from its impact on the streetscape, the laneway and potential overshading, the response is one founded on a bigger picture. The resulting compact size is reflective of the respect for the original terrace home it abuts and a want to cohabitate through balance. Through its ability to adapt the core principles across a number of sites, the home is also designed to be adapted and repeated, which could allow for increased economies of scale over time.
Considered from its impact on the streetscape, the laneway and potential overshading, the response is one founded on a bigger picture.
Dreamer Lab draws on the existing features and crafted nature of the original home, proposing Terrace house 1 as an equally conceived series of volumes that respond to its time.