2014 National Architecture Awards: Residential – Houses (New)

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Hover House by Bower Architecture.

Hover House by Bower Architecture. Image: Shannon McGrath

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Hover House by Bower Architecture.

Hover House by Bower Architecture. Image: Shannon McGrath

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Hover House by Bower Architecture.

Hover House by Bower Architecture. Image: Shannon McGrath

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Hover House by Bower Architecture.

Hover House by Bower Architecture. Image: Shannon McGrath

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Hover House by Bower Architecture.

Hover House by Bower Architecture. Image: Shannon McGrath

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Hover House by Bower Architecture.

Hover House by Bower Architecture. Image: Shannon McGrath

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Hover House by Bower Architecture.

Hover House by Bower Architecture. Image: Shannon McGrath

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Hover House by Bower Architecture.

Hover House by Bower Architecture. Image: Shannon McGrath

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Hover House by Bower Architecture.

Hover House by Bower Architecture. Image: Shannon McGrath

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Hover House by Bower Architecture.

Hover House by Bower Architecture. Image: Shannon McGrath

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Hover House by Bower Architecture
Residential Architecture – Houses (New): National Commendation
Australian Institute of Architects

Jury citation

Located on a battleaxe block in the Victorian coastal town of Mount Martha, Hover House is conceived as a simple pitched-roof form organized around a central courtyard. Detached from its neighbours on all sides, the house is clad in a modest, dark timber cloak.

A permanent home for its two occupants, the house is entered via a screened gallery space along the north, where the roof line is set low to allow sun to penetrate the courtyard and living spaces. The interior is divided into living, guest and main bedroom wings joined by the cantilevered terrace that “hovers” to connect them. All rooms benefit from natural ventilation and views to the gardens around the site periphery, in particular the main bedroom and study, which look out to an eastern garden that is delightfully eclectic, in stark contrast to the minimalist garden at the site’s core.

Hover House is an intelligent case study for the suburban block, easily replicable and constructed with a modest budget. The simple roof form diagram is dynamic yet cost-effective, requiring little steel to erect. Materials are used selectively and where it counts: rich blackbutt timbers in the courtyard and interiors contrast with humble painted fibre cement sheet externally in places where it is less visible. This is a high-amenity, cost-effective house that has been skilfully designed for everyday life.

Read the project review by Marcus Baumgart from Houses.


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