February 3, 2010

Design With A Spine by Marcus O’Reilly Architects

I'd like to share a recent house design by an architect and friend running the firm, Marcus O'Reilly Architects, in Melbourne Australia. We met a couple of years ago as participants of the Glenn Murcutt International masters Class. It is always fantastic to see what my classmates have been doing since we parted ways. Below is the press release describing the design and some images of the completed project:
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This single story house is located on a leafy well established street in Kyneton, Victoria, Australia. While appropriately scaled for the neighborhood it is a variation on the local typology. Whereas the typical suburban model of a distinct front yard and back yard is the norm in the area, this design focuses the house to a generous north facing outdoor room.

Stretching east to west across the site, the dynamic double skillion roofs provide ample northern light into every room in the house. A central spine between the two roofs splits the house into public and private functions and visually connects the entrance of the home to the sculptural forms of the rear garden. A thickened wall with deep niches for the display of art and random artifacts heightens the experience of passing along the central circulation.

Years ago, the client and Marcus O’Reilly shared a furniture workshop and the pair have collaborated extensively in the past. The longstanding working relationship between the two led to a very smooth, efficient and effective construction process, where both client and Architect were consistently on the same page. The clients ease in understanding the design intent, left time to focus on more intimate detailing such as the fine tapering of the roof eaves, the pocketing doors and exterior cladding systems. The home was beautifully put together by the client, who brought his cabinet making sensibility to the intricately coordinated construction of the home.

The residence’s thermal performance is exceptional due to ample thermal mass to the south, double glazed windows to the north, long eaves, and a subfloor airspace to stabilize the diurnal range. A screened water tank in the front of the property, harvesting rainwater from the roofs, provides water for the toilets, laundry and garden.


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