Pitched Roof HouseEdit profile
The ‘Pitched Roof House’ is located in a conservative suburb of Sydney. The site slopes steeply away from the street and has district views from the upper level to the east. The form of the building has evolved from a strict interpretation of Council’s codes and the requirement for northern sunlight and views on the living level. The local Council’s planning codes encourage the use of pitched roofs to reflect the predominant roof form of the locality. The geometry of the roof is made up of a series of triangles akin to a pitched roof. Unlike the traditional pitched roof, the triangles not only pitch up, but also invert, to form a faceted roof plane following the height controls of Council. The geometry of the roof is then continued onto the façade with the resultant structure expressed both internally and externally. The triangular faceting of the upper level is modulated to fit within Council’s envelope controls and to allow northern light into the top floor. Council’s codes are often seen as limitations to architectural design. In the Pitched Roof House they are points of departure, used to challenge traditional default design responses. While exploring the geometry of the house through a series of internal and sectional models, we realised that the triangular geometry accentuated the vanishing points of the internal space, thereby increasing the apparent space. The geometry was then fine tuned to accentuate the perspectival space and to merge with the orthogonal courtyard plan. In the Pitched Roof House the triangulated structure is explored as a spatial system of organization and ornamentation, providing a framework for openings and exaggerating perspectives within the space. The typical floor plan has been inverted. The living spaces are located on the top floor to take advantage of the sculptural roof form, the district views and the northern sunlight. The bedrooms and bathrooms are located on the floors below, where solar access and outlook are compromised by the site topography and neighbouring buildings. The building is compact in form with a footprint at its base of only 20% of the site area. The garage has been located under the building rather than in the typical street frontage location, to maximise landscaping along the streetscape and the area of the site available to soft planting. The materials have been chosen for their ability to age and last, with colours that recede into the native landscape. As the zinc weathers over time and develops a patina, the contrast in texture between the wall surface and the glazed openings will be accentuated, further highlighting the geometry of the house.