kirkham hill residence
The backstory to this family home was a 2 year struggle with their original project home builder and a DA process that failed to be approved. The universe finally worked in their favour and Gerry Kho Architects was engaged in late 2020 to run the show. We delivered not only a well-designed home but managed to achieve DA within a few months even with a proper third storey [not a silly loft!] added to their brief.
The built form and layout of the multi-generational family home was sculpted around the goal of optimising the long and narrow corner site’s unfavourable orientation [narrower dimensions aligning North-South] and the gradient of the small lot [265m²]. There is a significant difference between the street level and the rear of the block towards the south at 2 locations thus forming 3 plateaus. In order to minimize filling and/or excavation, the proposed design is terraced with each volume of the home gradually stepping down from north to south, creating a journey through the home that is in both the horizontal and vertical planes. Terracing the built form also counteracts the otherwise potentially monolithic and overwhelming bulk seen from the street. This is further accentuated by breaking up the volumes by intersecting with a central courtyard thus forming a light-well in between. Our design intention to minimize and balance out the vertical visual impact of the building was also achieved by exaggerating the horizontality of the form as well as the use of linear materials and textures. Highlights of timber are proposed to create more linear elements to the facades as well as ‘warmth’ and nature to the building.
The spatial layout is an interplay – expansion and contraction of spaces with the linear form intersected by courtyards and openings with vistas towards the river and city. The external light-well and courtyard, that are now synonymous with Gerry Kho Architects, located on the west acts as a light-well and breeze-way to maximize access to northern daylight and to capture the desirable south-westerly breezes during the summer months. Passive solar design principles influenced the space planning internally as well as window locations.
Our building company, GK Master Builder P/L, will begin construction of this home in mid-2021.