Inserted deftly into a suburban streetscape, the playful additions and alterations of the Tower House are a surprisingly comfortable and delightful fit. From the street, the project’s defining tall-shingled “tower” can be seen alongside the renovated weatherboard cottage. As the site opens up towards the rear laneway, a distinctive character is revealed through a series of added pavilions, each possessing an apparently childlike silhouette of a house. Each of the profiles of the little pavilion “houses” is skilfully manipulated to turn a low-scale and well-finished face to the southern neighbour whose boundary the new buildings hug. This generous approach to the neighbourhood extends to the rear laneway, where a sunny, north-facing garden invites neighbours to engage.
The playful external pavilion forms reveal themselves internally through elegantly detailed skylights and a charming menagerie of domestic-scaled volumes. Diverse living zones have been provided with no hint of the disjuncture that might have been anticipated, all made right by the harmonious choice of materials and the skilful resolution of junctions between forms and finishes. There’s a timber-lined and book-lined study with its floor below ground level. Here one can look out at the level of flowers. Another highlight is the netted floor of the tall tower, where parents and children can escape and enter another world, suspended and cushioned with a framed view of the rear garden. It’s an absolute delight. This project demonstrates how the talents of the architect can deliver on a client’s ambition to be a positive influence in their community.
Read the project review by Mark Scruby from Houses 104.
Products and materials
- Lysaght Longline 305 in Colorbond ‘Surfmist’.
- External walls
- Western red cedar shingles.
- Internal walls
- Spotted gum timber lining; plasterboard in Dulux ‘Lexicon White’.
- Windows and doors
- Skyrange Engineering steel frame windows and doors; Viridian double glazing.
- Concrete slab, polished; spotted gum tongue-and-groove flooring in tung oil.
- HPM Linea Soft Touch and Clipsal C2000 Series switch plates.
- Hoop pine plywood joinery; steel benchtop painted black with wax finish; Abey Schock 1 3/4 bowl sink; Franke Planar mixer and Spazio plumbing kit; Qasair rangehood.
- Caroma overmount basin; Rogerseller shower mixer, towel rails, robe hooks, basin spout and toilet roll holder; Veitch stainless steel shower floor waste.
- Heating and cooling
- In-floor hydronic coils; Greenheat hydronic panels; Shadefactor folding arm awnings.
- Oxley Nets net floor to study floor.
- Austin Maynard Architects
Melbourne, Vic, Australia
- Project Team
- Andrew Maynard, Mark Austin
Engineer Maurice Farrugia and Associates
Garden design Bush Projects, Austin Maynard Architects
Landscape Lucida Landscapes
Stained glass Bayside Lead Light
- Site Details
Site type Suburban
Site area 550 m2
Building area 225 m2
- Project Details
Completion date 2014
Design, documentation 4 months
Construction 18 months
Type Alts and adds, New houses