Ivanhoe House


Overlooking the Darebin Parklands in Ivanhoe, this residential project provides an alternative interpretation of life in Melbourne’s urban fringe. Our client’s brief required the construction of a well serviced, light and passively designed home, for a recently returned Australian family where connection to a unique area of suburban bushland was paramount.

The eastern street entry to the site is significantly more traditional than the more organic layout to the west, where pushing and pulling of recesses occurs, intermingling with the landscape. This relative regularity in form is used to complement the existing traditional street frontages, primarily Californian Bungalows, whilst overlaying a typically ‘Australian’ material base and plant stock.

Visitors to the house are greeted by a subtly morphing timber screen which draws them through to the central core of the building to be greeted by an open stair case to the parkland in the distance. The entry journey takes one from the formal to the informal.

The building has been staggered across interconnected levels to take advantage of the natural fall of the land. This layered effect has the added benefit of being able to utilise the cool air of the sub-soil; cooler air is dragged through the house from a client-designed underground earth tube system during the hot summer months. The resultant house benefits from varied spatial configurations allowing the family to utilise the house in many ways concurrently.

Externally, particular attention has been paid to the incorporation of Australian flora. The western landscaped yard terraces toward and draws upon the Darebin Parklands beyond.

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