A new house for a large family located on a double-fronted site in North Fitzroy with heritage overlay reflects Studio Bright’s ongoing desire to make adaptable family houses that connect as much as possible with the outdoors. 8 Yard House builds on centuries-old traditions of spaces for living outside. And so rather than have one singular backyard and the bulk of the house as one mass, the planning and spaces are distributed along the length of site punctuated with a series of variously sized outdoor courtyards.
To capture northern light, the living and dining spaces run along the southern edge of site with a main bedroom with its own courtyard bookending the front of site and a studio apartment at the rear. Aligning with the heritage requirements and urban grain, the front elevation follows the rhythm of the street and presents as two elements – a singular façade of perforated brick and then the entry point and windows.
Across the whole site are eight outdoor spaces, with the largest between the studio, garage and the main volume of the house. Centrally located, a pool becomes another landscape area either to use or to look across. Outdoor dining areas and a BBQ court run adjacent to the pool and also off the central living areas. On the upper level is a roof garden with deep planter boxes and views overlooking the street and then minimally sized children’s bedrooms with study daybeds in a corridor with a double screen layer of planter boxes and privacy screens.
Overall, the architectural form is defined by an almost monumental brick construction detailed with perforations, rhythmic built-in columns and planter boxes, while at the upper level and in contrast to the brick, a finely detailed blue-grey aluminum is used for the screens and planter supports.
The outdoor spaces are rooms of equal value to their interior counterparts. Their interconnectedness layers a diversity of activity and inhabitation throughout the site. Crafted domestic moments and material celebration are dedicated to niches, corners and walls. Interrupting the procession of terrace house facades, 8 Yard House is a street-healing gesture, while staying true to its own time and purpose. This house invites a rich life.
2021 Victorian Architecture Awards: The Harold Desbrowe-Annear Award for Residential Architecture – Houses (New) : Named Award
2021 AIDA Awards: Residential Design : Commendation
2021 Houses Awards: Garden or Landscape, in collaboration with Peachy Green : Winner
2021 Houses Awards: New House over 200m2 : Joint Winner