Pic-Perf metal from Locker Group was used in a unique application by architecture firm Kavellaris Urban Design (KUD), helping the new home visually blend into the terraced house neighbourhood.
Architects often face the difficult challenge of creating a house that's filled with traditional character, but also lives up to the standards of modern living. The perforated metal house in Brunswick, Melbourne designed by KUD, represents a new way of thinking about architecture in a neighbourhood that's almost exclusively made up of traditional terraced houses.
The site was located in the middle of a row of terraced houses, many from the late Victorian era, dictating the look of the neighbourhood, according to KUD rather than responding to it. Though the buildings had heaps of character, KUD felt they didn’t live up to modern standards of design or comfort. Rather than design a similar house to fit in, the architects decided to use Locker Group’s Pic-Perf perforated metal to replicate the facade of a terraced house on the outside, while incorporating a modern design within and using modern materials to build it.
The exterior is made up of a mixture of perforated steel, glass and curtains, which open, fold up and slide out to let light in. The perforated metal facade allows the family to have privacy while enabling them to open it up when required. In fact, the north and south walls can open up completely, allowing for breezes to pass through during Australia's hot summer months, and dispensing with the need for air-conditioning. The architects have also used glass extensively to add to the feeling of space and airiness in a site measuring only 5.5m x 14.4m.
While the outside design on perforated metal helped the house blend into the terraced home neighbourhood, the architects chose a radical design for the interior. Traditionally, most terraced houses have the living space on the ground floor and the bedrooms on the upper floor. KUD decided to invert this concept and placed the living areas where people tend to spend most of their time, on the upper floor, which gets more natural light, ventilation and privacy. By placing the bedrooms on the ground, the residents would have the benefit of a cool environment, ideal for sleeping.
With the KUD House, the architects also intended to initiate a debate on terraced houses, and how old homes that aren't always well-designed or conducive to comfort, are romanticised in design. Locker Group worked closely with the architects on the Brunswick project, having supplied the perforated metal that was used in construction.