Brief: Family Home - 3 Bedroom, 2 bathroom + Study
Location: Brooklyn, Melbourne, Victoria
Architect: Third Skin
The Brooklyn house has been developed with a brief for a family home on a modest budget in the Western suburb of Brooklyn. The vacant site was purchased from the local Council as they provided a new pedestrian link between the neighbourhood street and the new Federation Trial, a bicycle and foot path from the West Gate to Werribee, immediately south of the site. As such, the property was narrowed by 4m for the pedestrian pathway, leaving a long but slim proportion with a North-South orientation, and a Council provision that the Western boundary of the site was to maintain a transparency and surveillance to the common pathway to ensure a positive use of the trail and throughway. This also involves a setback for buildings of 3m to provide a landscaping buffer to this space.
The program of accommodation was to be split between the core family use of the house and the visiting extended family from overseas. The length of the site also offered future possibilities of subdivision, involving the more saleable Northern portion of the site. In satisfying the constructional efficiencies necessary to meet the budget and these two strategic aims of the program, a linear arrangement was chosen of North and South buildings, connecting in a shaded courtyard.
The modular panel system of walls and roof lends itself to this form, with solar access and shading informing the undulating roof. Openings in the East and West facades are limited and shuttered, while Northern facade are predominantly glazed and hooded by the over-sailing roof and flanking walls, optimising solar gain in winter and providing shade through summer months.
The shaded Southern garden is maintained as a good size for the energetic family, opening onto the adjacent Federation trail. The Western and Eastern external spaces are a useful width of landscaping and provide scope for future additions. The Northern garden also provides sun-filled open space in winter, with the shelter of the contemporary verandah.
A conventional arrangement of living on ground level open to the outside on all sides, with bedrooms and bathrooms upstairs, allows best use of this garden property. Kitchen, laundry, store and powder room and bathrooms are to the east for morning light and efficient connection to services. Open living spaces are to the West, with entry and the vehicle arrival to both buildings through the centre of the house- the courtyard.