A family home by K2LD Architects meets the brief for a space that would address the owners' passion for cooking while maximising the sweeping views from their hillside location to the Melbourne CBD.
With their Northcote property nestled amongst an eclectic mix of immaculate Edwardian houses, mansions of yesteryear and newer complexes, owners and avid entertainers Mark and Dalila were conscious that their new, well-placed house on the hill complemented the neighbouring streetscape.
Inspired by the verandah fronted vernacular of the existing structure, K2LD responded with a humble, low-lying street frontage in which soaring, light filled living spaces were cleverly concealed beyond the front door.
Explaining how they turned a disadvantage into a design feature, K2LD Principal Tisha Lee said the site’s dramatic fall from the street front to its rear, which they thought would be their greatest constraint, presented them with an opportunity to play with the internal scale and take full advantage of the uninterrupted views to the south.
According to Lee, the northern elevation presents as a pair of inverted ‘Ls’ - one concrete and lightly hovering over the ground plane, and the other constructed out of blackbutt timber batten sunshades.
A central courtyard, which greets visitors as they enter the residence, provides an abundance of light as well as separation between the children’s rooms with the rumpus to the north and master suite to the south. The glazed flooring of the courtyard serves as a skylight, filtering northern light down through to the deep, south facing kitchen and dining areas downstairs.
Dalila, a mother of three, counts the courtyard as one of her favourite rooms, observing that the transitional nature of the space poetically references the changing seasons and allows the weather to have an internal influence, not just in terms of light but also how they experience the house.
Moving through the transitional space, a broad staircase leads to the living and entertaining space below, with dramatic 6.5m high ceilings and full length windows directing attention towards the expansive city views. The timber clad master suite is cantilevered over the living spaces below and creates an architectural connection between inside and out.
Bathed in light from the courtyard above, the vast lower entertaining level sees the kitchen take centre stage at one end. The living spaces flow effortlessly out into outdoor entertaining areas, which are complemented by the wine cellar and home theatre that are discreetly buried in the hillside.