The aim with this new house on a corner block in East Ivanhoe was to create a harmony between contemporary style and the post-war tradition that typifies much of Ivanhoe. The use of outdoor space and landscaping was very important – the articulation of timber details responds to the established vegetation, which was preserved through construction. Programmatically, the house is simple and the choices were made in favour of price and durability, rather than trying to channel a particular ‘look’.
Good design is essential if the built environment is to become less reliant on limited resources. Sometimes achieving this requires extra creative energy and time, as in this instance. But challenging the imagination is, for us, the essence of architecture. Simple design, like that seen in this new house, is often the hardest to execute. Simplicity means you can’t hide your design behind the bells and whistle of a striking facade. The simplicity is given more depth and excitement through the careful detailing where materials meet or join one another.
Small design choices can make a big difference. For example, care was taken here to design appropriate shading above exposed glass, remembering simple lessons learned in the design of Australian houses before the widespread availability of energy-intensive air conditioners.
In addition, we sought to minimise waste at every stage of the project: from initial design right through to the completion of construction. This is something we aim for in all our projects, whether a new house like this, a relatively small renovation or a much larger scale industrial project.
Click to read Kerrie O’Brien’s review in The Age