Morris Partnership designed the Richmond house in a suburb of Melbourne, Australia.
This inner city site confronted the Architect, Michael Morris, with a number of challenges:
Overlooking on three sides
An adjacent Victorian cottage to the west boundary.
A barren three storey block of flats to the east boundary
Restrictive heritage controls exercised by the local government
A small site size of 264 square metres. (approx 2,400sf)
A mature peppercorn tree tumbling over the frontage from the adjacent site.
The house form is simple and rectilinear. The external finishes are textured cement sheet, rusted corten steel, spotted gum timber, perforated metal, Alucobond and woven metal mesh. Rich browns and reds contrast strongly with the grey of the cement sheet. The lustrous finish of aluminium is enhanced by the tension of the raw woven metal mesh. Light flows through the mesh to gently filter light to the ground floor rooms.
A rectilinear form is utilized to create internal spaces which flow into each other and mitigate against the impact of the narrow, tight site. Large glazed areas open to the courtyards and decks. The wide gallery, generous bedrooms, combined kitchen and living area, outdoor areas and the theatrical central courtyard enhance the feeling of a spacious environment.
The Architect has successfully inserted the building into the mixed historic precinct. The interior of the house is private, quiet and visually exciting. It provides a sanctuary amidst the traffic and intensity of the immediate surroundings.