A Sustainable Family Home – The Harry House by Archier
Coburg, VIC, Australia
Influenced by the client’s Japanese heritage, Harry House sees an existing wearied home given a new life through a considered and textured refinement. Archier brings the practice’s characteristic holistic approach to bear and injects a novel sense of rhythm.
Inspired by the fig trees in the rear yard that were held captive in a sea of concrete, the owners wanted to engage with the expansive and generous site and populate suitable surrounds to embrace these established oxygen-generating gems. Harry House sees the client’s Japanese heritage drawn from in the approach to materiality and spatial planning. Originally a typical weatherboard home, the bones of the well-loved and well-lived home were in much need of repair, and touching on combining an eastern approach that found its place in suburban Melbourne, the landscape was inspired by creating a lantern-type structure suspended within the garden. Harry House sees Archier leverage a holistic approach, with all architectural, interiors and lighting elements designed and implemented universally.
Harry House sees the client’s Japanese heritage drawn from in the approach to materiality and spatial planning.
Built by CBD Contracting, and with landscape design by Philip Withers, Harry House employs the comfort of familiar elements. Through the warm and softening textured timber screening, to the timber lined internal walls and cladding, pockets of contrasting coolness emerge in the concrete flooring and glass elements. Located in Coburg in Melbourne’s north, the home sits comfortably in its neighbourhood, with a scale and approachability appropriate to the context. The connectedness of built form to landscape shows consideration of curated vistas and operable elements that bridge this threshold. Glass punctuations allow for the shared experience of interior with the exterior.
Harry House sees Archier leverage a holistic approach, with all architectural, interiors and lighting elements designed and implemented universally.
The existing home sits at the front of the site, restored and uninterrupted, with the bulk of the new work creating sitting at the rear. The two main volumes are separated by a connecting volume, smaller in scale, offering a sense of relief from the masses, and sitting an additional storey upward, the profile of the rear extension and its two stories, sits comfortably behind the front profile of the original home, maintaining an uninterrupted profile. With its origins in a grounded connected to site, and connecting to its owner and their own legacy, Archier’s addition sits contextually appropriately on within its boundary, humbling offering an extended life to its former one.
Built by CBD Contracting, and with landscape design by Philip Withers, Harry House employs the comfort of familiar elements.
With ceramics by Leaf and Thread and artwork by Greg Wood courtesy of James Makin Gallery, Harry House harnesses its previous legacy through a considered lens, projecting toward a more sustainable and thoughtful future. The technologically sustainable elements combined with traditional timber strapping of internal walls and the external timber vernacular, unites the heritage and the contemporary. Archier brings a consideration and a sensibility to the project, proposing a home that expresses its owners.