Architect: James Clarence, Dylan Try
Builder: MADE Architectural Construction
A unique proposition in Merewether Heights, this stunning dual composition harnesses the power of two homes to secure a twofold charm that captivates and enchants. This project consolidates both homes in a seamless integration that ensures uninterrupted elegance yet works practically to maintain privacy.
With access from the shared road, View Street, this house presents as split levels stepping down the hillside – a direct response to the formidably steep site. It is an extraordinary resolution for an otherwise unusable site. With the site left vacant for approximately seven years after the previous residence burnt down, the unique topography was presented as a challenge to harness, not fear. Mediating the steep gradient by recessing the home into the cliff face, has provided the client with a beautiful home that is robust, meticulously detailed, and integrated into the existing landscape. The flexibility that has been achieved by stacking the internal program vertically ensures a diversity of spaces that can be capitalised for different uses year-round. The resultant home fills the gap between existing residences, completing the streetscape and adding to the built fabric of the area.
The calibre of this design places it in a high echelon of tranquil urban living, a hub and yet also a sanctuary, blending in with the surrounding built forms whilst also acknowledging the beautiful leafy surrounds. Whilst the site is extremely tight, utilising the view over the roof garden of the house below allows the feeling of space in the backyard to expand beyond the boundary, resulting in a home that feels open and unencumbered by the neighbouring properties.
Working holistically across the two sites allowed for unique capacity to capitalise on views and solar access. The main living level is afforded views to the north and an outlook over the valley towards Merewether. With an east/west split in the floor plan, the central stair void is used to delineate between spaces without necessarily requiring walled separation between rooms. The split-level layout of the program allows minimal circulation but creates a harmonious link between spaces that serve very different purposes. From the lower rumpus room, high ceilings flow out to a lavish pool area whilst a master suite sits at the crown of the house, separated from the rest of the home, allowing privacy and retreat for the owners.
Working closely with the client with a building background, as well as a structural engineer, a cost-effective structural solution was formed in a direct response to the context of the site. Robust and low maintenance materials have been used throughout to reduce ongoing maintenance costs, especially tied to the topography and difficulties accessing the exterior of the house. This home is a truly striking form with no signs of compromise, creating a most functional and arresting residence.