Kew House

The house is 18m by 9m and cantilevers 5.5m over a steep slope at the west end of the site. It is constructed from 350 mpa steel which is oxidised and then sealed with a clear primer.

The house is divided lengthways. To the north an open plan living space, to the south interconnecting bedrooms and a study. A 7m built in table runs across the east end of the building and has been designed as the hub of life and daily activities in the home.

The plan is eastern - one space divided and no corridors. The sentiment of the kitchen table is western - the altar of the family. In this sense the house speculates on the potential emergence of an Australian vernacular born not simply from our European past but equally from our acceptance of our regional reality as part of Asia.

The site slopes steeply to the west. The building ignores the slope and addresses the view to the city skyline. The heroic nature of the structure defers to the post war optimism of Melbourne architecture evidenced in suburbs such as Kew, North Balwyn and Beaumaris.

Although apparently 'modern' in its language, the house is primordial in its intent - rust, oiled second hand boards, recycled decking and a lack of 'precious' detail combine with rudimentary services to form a house which is elemental rather than processed.

Operable steel shutters shade the north and west elevations. A passive evaporative cooling system takes the prevailing south westerly wind over the grass embankment and under the house where it is introduced via floor vents to the east end of the building. The air is further cooled by fine water mist sprays placed at the top end of the embankment.


Description from architects


9 photos

Building Activity

  • Nadezhda Nikolova
    Nadezhda Nikolova updated 25 media, updated and uploaded 5 media
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  • Katerina Vaseva
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