Aberfeldie, Victoria, Australia
MODO (Michael Ong Design Office) is an award winning architecture studio in Melbourne, Australia. This is a showcase of their residential client work called “Hans House”.
“The clients brief was to design a home which played an active role in their everyday life, rather than a static shell. Our aim was to develop a design which engages with the rituals and the growth of this young family; blending the external and internal spaces to create movement and life in the environment. Located on the elbow of the street, the site is sandwiched between two suburban houses and common practice when it comes to locating a suburban house on a site, is to start at the centre of the plot and enlarge the footprint until the space required is met. Typically remaining on the side of the site is a two narrow strips of unusable landscape and a standard suburban backyard. The backyards intention is to give the occupants a sense of connectivity to the outside, however because of poor orientation and spatial planning, the garden is often under valued, resulting in a passive relationship with the interior.
In HANS-house, instead of standing next to the backyard, the form cradles and pulls the landscape in and to the centre of the house. Giving the landscape a stronger presence in the overall design of this home.
The backyard shares the rear of the site with the living room, the two spaces are divided by a large glass sliding door and a deep timber clad reveal. The depth of the timber reveal formally articulates and stretches out the hidden gap between the internal and external. The edge of the reveal also creates a handy seat for large family gatherings. By activating the edge, the spaces are encourage to flow in and out of each other
Orientated north, the reveal also create an eave to allow for passive solar gain. Also a thick heavy curtain can be pulled across to separate the living room and lock in all the captured heat.”