Steve Domoney Architecture have designed the Robinson Road House in Melbourne, Australia.

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Two defining notions drove the design for this new home in Hawthorn.

Firstly, the recognition that the street is currently in transition with the post war brick bungalow style dwelling giving way to more recent contemporary dwellings.

Secondly, with the establishment of a larger family home on the site than currently exists, the need to balance the perception of openness from within against a heightened need for privacy with the greater intensity of development now surrounding the site.

In addressing the transitional quality of the streetscape, attention is given to how a new building will fit into a likely new streetscape rather than the existing one. This rationale is evident in the resulting and somewhat ‘self confident’ presence of the new home, awaiting the tide of new developments each of its flanks.

Issues of perceived visual bulk have been addressed through the upper level by way of its fragmentation along its length into three distinct sections running front to back.

Smooth white rendered cube like forms; fore and aft; are separated midway by a lower linking section, punctuated by contrasting dark band sawn timbers.

Issues of privacy to and from the street are addressed with the upper level introduction of a deep terrace fronting the home office. Distant views are gained from within this space across the terrace whilst the terrace acts as a visual foil blocking sight lines from the street to this private space.

Deeper into the site and the internal spaces of the house, views are channeled from within to private outdoor living areas, whilst screening along its flanks prevents viewing opportunities to and from neighbouring dwellings. A balance thus struck between the need for openness and requirement for privacy.

The central core of the house invites casual family living, rising through two levels; the space is defined by the proximity of the external pool which extends to its wall face. With an overhead bridge link traversing this internal space, strong visual interconnection is achieved throughout the living zones.

Architects: Steve Domoney Architecture

Photography: Derek Swalwell

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