The romanticised Victorian terrace redefined for the contemporary Australian vernacular
The project is a critique on our cultural attitudes and how we determine them. A critique on what we consider to be of heritage significance and how to narrate such ideas in a critical and contemporary manner. Is the symbolism and the idea more important than the architectural consequence?
The firm's strategy was to break down the elements of the terrace house, and to critique and respond. The main areas of investigation were symbolism and ornamentation, the public/private realm and redefining its boundaries, solar orientation, environmental sustainability and programming of the plan.
The site area is a very small 5.5x12m envelope. The team was interested in retaining the ‘idea' and the ‘symbolism' of the terrace but elevating the gesture to an ironic or even satirical level to engage in a public debate. They wanted the house to be more than just a façade or a graphic on a building paying tribute to Venturi's "decorated shed", instead the external facade could be experienced internally and is also a multi-functional device that constantly transforms the built form from solid to void, from private to public, from opaque to translucent.
The operable wall or the absence of the façade enabled the architects to remove the idea that houses are static. The use of operable walls, doors curtains and glass walls enables the occupants to change the experience and environment. This architectural manipulation of space blurred the boundaries between inside and outside, the public and private realm.