EC House, Fitzory

Designed by: HOLA Projects
For client: Elwood_Carpenter Floor area: 216.00 M² Year of completion: 2018
Submitted for: House of the Year

Ec 01
© Daniel Aulsebrook

A view toward the entry across the pool courtyard. The helical stair is viewed through layers of space.

About the Project

The project brief called for exceptional qualities of aesthetics, craftsmanship and amenity, & the design team prioritised longevity, and the integrity of materiality.
Insertion of the courtyards was a key move to activate the interior. Deep penetration of natural light into the building models the sculptural elements in the space & reflected colour shifts constantly. Views linking exterior spaces expands the impression in a finite volume. The tall exterior volumes choreograph a journey of compressed spaces & dramatic volumes.

The junctions of existing & new building fabric; brick, glass, timber & plaster all meet & pivot around exposed steel. All 3 courtyard insertions are enclosed by steel framed glazing with locally designed & produced bespoke bronze hardware.
Significant work was required to achieve a 6-star energy rating. Over performing insulation, glazing, equipment, & passive systems were interlinked to achieve this goal.
A forcefully positioned helical staircase leads to the private spaces on the upper level, where the flooring material moves from limestone slabs to soaped Douglas Fir planks. The effect of increased softness & warmth as you move through the building nurtures the inhabitants.
Myriad variety of volumes and proportions when activated by the play of light make for a ceaselessly changing environment. The client’s idiosyncratic artworks & long history of collecting vintage rugs & furniture were integral to the concept from the inception.

What’s unique about it

There are many technical innovations in the building but the emotional & social aspects of the dwelling are equally important.
Sanctuary in the the urban context was achieved through the tenacity of the historic masonry shell, creating a variety journeys that are animated through veiled views in 3 courtyards. They provide structure to the primarily open plan space. An urban location is improved by the ability to escape from it.

Seasonality was allowed to penetrate the building. Melbourne has cold winters fed by Antarctic currents & parched summers fed by the deserts to the west. The expression of the seasons through sky views & the deep transit of light into the spaces both day and night fill the rooms with every changing emotions & moods. The clear Australian light is used as material in the pallet.
Modernism is a shared interest of the client &designer. We wanted to pull metaphors from the industrial past to absorb with the experimentation of Aalto & Chareau. These are evident in the fenestration & custom mechanisms devised for the house. These add uniqueness & a performative aspect to the building. The furniture collection & artwork support these notions giving their own history to the sense of place.
Materiality in residential spaces & the handling of objects is very personal. We worked with a number of artisans to produce pieces for the project. An enamelled wheel window operator/cast bronze window and door hardware/Leather door pulls. Time is included as a material.

Ec 10
© Daniel Aulsebrook

Looking down into the dining room with glimpse of the pool and living room beyond. Vintage pieces add depth to the new volumes.

Ec 09
© Daniel Aulsebrook

Custom robes are luxurious in Japanese Elm. All hardware is custom.

Ec 06
© Daniel Aulsebrook

The upper level has softer feel with raking light welcomed in. The industrial wheel operates high-level windows.

Ec 07
© Daniel Aulsebrook

One of the bedrooms, each with their own framed view. The furnishing were collected over many years.

Ec 08
© Daniel Aulsebrook

Master bath in Carrara mosaic and Japanese Elm.

Ec 05
© Daniel Aulsebrook

A variety of moods happen the house across the seasons. This fireside space is adjacent the kitchen courtyard.

Ec 04
© Daniel Aulsebrook

The kitchen is muscular and functional and open to the whole space. It is an axial space able to be traverse in many ways.

Ec 03
© Daniel Aulsebrook

Entry courtyard is a place of pause after exiting the street and entering the dwelling.

George Street Furnished3482
© Daniel Aulsebrook

Old and new furniture pieces nestle together under the stair.

Location of project:
HOLA Projects

MRU Construction

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