Boundary House is a clever solution to a common inner-urban problem -- an existing house positioned poorly on a site, creating awkward leftover spaces and poor access to sunlight. By wrapping and folding a sculptural extension hard against the boundary, BKK Architects have created and open light courtyard in the center, to utilize the site to its full potential.
The placement of the existing residence on the site presented a number of difficult challenges. The central placement of the house created awkward residual spaces whilst the orientation of the site was problematic as main living spaces faced south, devoid of direct sunlight.
The clients, with a growing young family, wanted two new bedrooms, a bathroom, laundry and a lounge. The brief was to increase the size of the residence and retain a sense of landscape. They also have a fairly extensive art collection and wanted wall space to display the work.
BKK's strategy was to draw the extension around the perimeter of the site to create a new courtyard and expose the living area to the northern orientation. The stretched circulation created by this approach was designed as gallery space, expanding and restricting at points depending on the placement of the artwork and creating a variety of spaces that punctuate the journey.
Similarly the outdoor spaces push and pull against the extension in a dialogue that creates diverse landscapes of experiences. The suburban front and back yard is reinterpreted in a manner that is more fluid and less defined than traditional subdivisions.
The sculptural qualities of the new building and the varying material definition create a series of ‘pod’-like buildings rather than a singular residence. The combination of these pods and the occupation of the boundary offers a more diverse set of landscapes and micro climates. This will make the house inherently more livable and usable than a house placed within a lawn.
Pushing the Boundaries
This unique and sculptural house is an example of creative thinking put towards an age old problem. BKK could have taken the easy route and just tacked on a decent addition to the rear of a poorly oriented and positioned house -- perhaps improving its performance through clerestory windows or light voids. Instead, they quite literally pushed the boundaries to create a modern and functional extension that will perform far better than any box in the landscape home could have.