Split House comprises 2 simple volumes linked by a splayed stair that is used as a seating area for people to gather

Split House comprises 2 simple volumes linked by a splayed stair that is used as a seating area for people to gather

Architects: BKK Architects
Location: Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, Australia
Year: 2015
Area: 3.444 ft²/ 320 m²
Photo courtesy: Peter Bennetts
Description:

“Set within a relatively recent subdivision upon the side of Mt Martha, the Split House negotiates a complex range of conditions typical of emerging coastal developments. New houses for ‘downsizers’ in a suburban mode, paved driveways and letterboxes prevail, vying for the expansive views to Port Philip Bay, and backed by the relatively wild, coastal woodland of Mt Martha Public Park.

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Construction works are ongoing in the area; completed houses with gardens at varying stages of maturity are punctuated by empty lots cleared of all vegetation.

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Within this context the Split House provides a range of spatial relationships to its site and the broader territory that carefully balances the owners’ desire for privacy and engagement with their surrounds. The house comprises 2 relatively simple volumes linked by a splayed stair that also acts as a seating area for people to gather, listen to music, sit in the sun.

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Occupying separate levels that follow the natural contours of the site, the 2 pavilions provide a separation between the upper, main living/master bedroom zone and rumpus room/guest bedrooms below. Through the curation of windows and doors a range of direct and indirect connections to the landscape provide multiple opportunities for occupation throughout the year.

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Smaller elements, such as integrated seating, stairs and study nooks provide spaces for quiet contemplation, juxtaposed with larger communal areas for family and friends to come together.

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At its inception the landscape and spaces in-between the house were conceived as of equal importance as the building itself; screens and finely detailed pergola elements provide sheltered zones around the house that reveal themselves as a sequence of distinct spaces with varying qualities of light and shadow.”

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