Jones House is nestled on a corner in the back streets of Brunswick, Melbourne. Luckily for Kavellaris Urban Design the site enjoys a northern orientation which they have cleverly exploited to create a bright and welcoming suburban home.
What would a suburban Australian home designed for Australian conditions look like? Jones House is both a critique and a response to the typical suburban house and the planning laws that influence them. The architects strove to create a model for affordable housing and an alternative to the "copies of copies" of European designs.
Brick veneer, painted compressed sheet, COLORBOND® steel roofing and cladding, plasterboard. In terms of materials, you don't get much more standard. Jones House explores the possibilities for a unique, comfortable and climate-appropriate home within the constraints of cost-effective and generic standard building materials and techniques.
"This project was an ongoing case study within our office and we seek to eliminate the idea that architectural ideas can only be achieved with big budgets and costly construction methods." — Kavellaris Urban Design
"Our response is an endeavour to establish an alternative architecture; another language for the average home! Another rhetoric critical of the arrangement and order of space, material, colour, scale, environmentally sustainability and urban engagement. The outcome seeks to raise questions rather than to dictate answers about the generic Australian House." — Kavellaris Urban Design
Reinterpreting the Hipped Roof
Kavellaris Urban Design manipulate the traditional hipped roof, stretching it from the first floor down to the ground floor to create one roof rather than create two separate rooflines. The result? An ambiguity between scale and the demarcation between the ground and first floor. Where does the ground floor end and the first floor begin?
The sloping roof also highlights the entry-way and culminates in a 'floating' down-pipe which becomes a water feature when it rains. This serves the added benefit of creating a unique house form from the prominent corner site.
"The house explores the physical and spatial constraints of suburban building as a discourse rather than a limitation with the roof being the predominate element sculptured by the mandatory 'set back diagram' dictated by local planning policies. A set back diagram literarily constructed, translated into the roof form. Our practice adopts the philosophy that constraints in what ever form they may be manifested; budgets, planning policies, contextual are part of the design process and can be used as part of the discourse and we seek for the critical architectural ideas as resolutions." — Kavellaris Urban Design
The plan is both open and closed, solid and void. The design intent was to compartmentalise the space with the flexibility of joining independent space such as the living with the courtyard the dining with the backyard or as one big open continuos space.
'Big' House on a Small Block
This is a big house on a small block. Yet it is small in comparison to an average family house.
Although the site is just over 200 m2, it consists of all the spaces found in a conventional suburban housing on a 1/4 acre block; three bedrooms, two ensuites and a bathroom, a study, two separate living zones, a courtyard, a double garage and a 'backyard'.
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Passive Solar Design
The northern orientation allowed the architect to incorporate passive solar design principles to improve the sustainable credentials of the home. The sloping roof again comes into play as a way to cross ventilate the spaces via the skylight and bi-fold doors.