Walter & Walter
Melbourne, VIC, Australia
House A by WALTER&WALTER – an award-winning residence in the Victorian Architecture Awards for Residential Architecture Houses of 2017.
House A is situated in a suburban landscape and composed of a field of rooms, all of which are in direct dialogue with the sites terrain and surrounding context.
Designed by architect Andrew Walter, director of WALTER&WALTER, this house opens and closes, refocusing the relationship of the house with its suburban context, influencing the formal outcomes, which alter between the public and private realms.
The house sits in an open landscape. A simple facade and massing focuses attention on the house’s relationship with its landscape and opens directly to the street disrupting commonly defined boundaries of public and private space in a suburban street. The site is one of an open space, where passers-by can; if they chose to, navigate around the house and experience its settings.
The selective openings in the plan of the house allow moments of porosity for landscapes to inhabit. These different landscape conditions are each unique in response to the orientation of the space. Allowing landscape to coexist with suburban built form. Revitalised relationships have been created between suburban architecture and its natural environment.
Openings in physical barriers, at various scales, reset territorial boundaries creating diverse connections between neighbours and landscapes. The plan then opens-up and closes in an ongoing dialogue with the terrain.
Materiality is a detail often oversimplified or over complicated. A rough sawn timber used for the exterior reveals a native material quality often erased from view. It is this rough and protective boundary that allows for natural variation of the material while also encouraging the visitor to touch with caution.
Moving through the house the texture changes and volumes open-up and collide with open landscaped spaces that punctuate the plan. Opacity makes way for transparency, privacy for openness and inclusion.
Photography by Ben Hosking.