Melbourne Difficult and Irregular Home Design:  A Northcote Case Study

In the world of architecture and design, each project comes with its own set of challenges and opportunities. One such project that showcases creativity and innovation is our Northcote Riverside project. This unique home, with its compact size and unusual shape, exemplifies the art of making the most of limited space while maintaining a connection to the surrounding environment.

Set alongside beautiful Merri Creek the home has been created to sit harmoniously within the environment while maximising the available space and creating a home with room for friends and family.

Designing Within Boundaries

The residence is nestled on a small triangular site, measuring just 268 square meters our team was faced with the task of working within the title boundaries, and the presence of large, beautiful trees surrounding the site. This unique combination of challenges required innovative solutions.

One of the key advantages of the location was the absence of neighbours to the south, allowing the architects to design without overshadowing nearby properties. The result was a design that maximized the use of space while complying with building code setbacks

Architectural Considerations

The unique orientation of the house posed a challenge. With the north orientation facing the neighbour, careful planning was needed to ensure that the house did not overshadow neighbouring properties.

The design also took into account the flood levels in the area, with Melbourne Water providing guidelines for the minimum flood level and the minimum house level to be followed during construction.

Client’s Vision

The clients, Tim & Althea, both young professionals in the medical field, had a clear vision for their future home. They wanted a space that would accommodate a family while reflecting their active and creative lifestyle.

Their requirements included three bedrooms, a guest bedroom, a small study, a dedicated space for Althea’s work-from-home needs, a music room, and a separate powder room for the upper floor. The design aimed to create a home that not only met their practical needs but also provided a space for their artistic and musical pursuits.

Unique Design Elements

This distinctive wedge shaped home features a reverse living layout, with the main living areas on the first floor. This layout allows for an upper deck with beautiful views of the surrounding area.

The first floor includes the kitchen, dining, living area, and an open space that opens to a spacious balcony. The outdoor area is accessible from the balcony, providing a seamless connection to the ground floor.

The ground floor accommodates the bedrooms, guest bedroom, and additional living spaces. The layout is designed to create a sense of arrival and openness when entering the home. Privacy is maintained through careful placement of windows and doors.

Innovative Use of Space

Despite the compact size of the residence, the architects made the most of every available inch. Storage was a priority for the clients, and the design includes ample storage space on both floors. The ground floor features a large storeroom, while the first floor includes storage within the laundry room and the living area. Additionally, a double-height space was created above the kitchen and dining area, adding to the feeling of spaciousness.

Unique Design Elements

This distinctive wedge shaped home features a reverse living layout, with the main living areas on the first floor. This layout allows for an upper deck with beautiful views of the surrounding area.

The first floor includes the kitchen, dining, living area, and an open space that opens to a spacious balcony. The outdoor area is accessible from the balcony, providing a seamless connection to the ground floor.

The ground floor accommodates the bedrooms, guest bedroom, and additional living spaces. The layout is designed to create a sense of arrival and openness when entering the home. Privacy is maintained through careful placement of windows and doors.

Innovative Use of Space

Despite the compact size of the residence, the architects made the most of every available inch. Storage was a priority for the clients, and the design includes ample storage space on both floors. The ground floor features a large storeroom, while the first floor includes storage within the laundry room and the living area. Additionally, a double-height space was created above the kitchen and dining area, adding to the feeling of spaciousness.

Exterior Design

The exterior design of the residence combines practicality and aesthetics. Our architects employed textured bricks and timber to create a visually appealing and harmonious façade. The use of natural materials and a balance of colours, with occasional black highlights, adds character and depth to the design.

To provide privacy and aesthetic interest, the design incorporates a screening element running along the boundary that offers privacy to both the residents and their neighbours. This also aligns with local council regulations, as it prevents the creation of a sheer wall.

Incorporating Nature

The architects paid special attention to landscaping and the outdoor environment. They envisioned a green buffer zone between the residence and the nearby Merri Creek Trail. This buffer would not only enhance the property’s outdoor space but also contribute to the environment and community.

Conclusion

This residence is a testament to the power of innovative design in maximizing limited space while prioritizing the needs and preferences of the homeowners. From the unique orientation to the clever use of exterior materials and thoughtful planning of interior spaces, this project showcases the art of creating a harmonious and functional living home. By blending the practical with the aesthetic, our team have created a residence that is a striking architectural design and a comfortable family home.