Mullet House by
March Studio

| 7 comments
 

A twisted angular roof oversails this extension to a suburban house in Melbourne by Australian architects March Studio (+ slideshow).

Mullet House by March Studio

March Studio, which is best known for designing a series of stores for Aesop, was tasked with renovating an existing bungalow in Kensington and adding an extension that doubles the size of the interior.

Mullet House by March Studio

For the existing house, the architects retained the Edwardian facade but re-planned the interior to accommodate only bedrooms and bathrooms.

Mullet House by March Studio

The new two-storey structure extends from the rear of the house. The architects excavated part of the ground, allowing them to create a concrete basement and parking area with a timber-clad ground-floor level above.

Mullet House by March Studio

"The new extension is not meant to be sympathetic to an older style but rather has been shaped by the clients' brief, solar access and one of Melbourne's best views back onto the city," said the architects.

Mullet House by March Studio

The angular black-zinc roof extends over a large living and dining room, and is angled up at two corners to allow light to filter in through clerestory windows.

Mullet House by March Studio

"This simple twisting operation grabs light and views," said the architects. "The action and drama of the twist is expressed and amplified on the ceiling below by a series of hand-plugged timber battens."

Mullet House by March Studio

The concrete structure on the level below contains a children's playroom with circular glass skylights overhead, as well as a wine cellar, a laundry room and a bathroom.

Mullet House by March Studio

A car can be parked beneath the projecting upper level, while a terrace and garden are positioned just beyond.

Mullet House by March Studio

The building is named Mullet House, as a reference to the hairstyle that different at the back than at the front. According to the architects, a passerby has described the house as "formal up front with the party out the back".

Mullet House by March Studio

Here's some text from the architects:


Mullet House

Situated in Melbourne's inner-city suburb of Kensington, 'The Mullet' performs contorted gymnastics in order to facilitate an ambitious brief on a small, yet opportunistic site.

Mullet House by March Studio

The clients, Scott Smith and Phoebe Moore, wanted to commission not only a new and comfortable home, but also sought a challenging design. Running a family business in construction, Scott and Phoebe's own home would become an opportunity for them to showcase their own capabilities.

Mullet House by March Studio

A Heritage overlay shaped the design for the front of the dwelling, requiring that the cottage facade and first few rooms flanking Hardiman Street be retained and renovated, (red roof and all). This is where the formality is, the face to the heritage land of Eastwood Street blends seamlessly with its cottage neighbours. Three bedrooms and two bathrooms are resolved into the pre-determined Edwardian shell, freeing up the new extension for the living areas.

Mullet House by March Studio

The fun begins to emerge when rounding Hardiman Street. 'I don't like it' - says one of the locals half way through construction. 'It's not in keeping with the area…' The new extension is not meant to be sympathetic to an older style but rather been shaped by the clients' brief, solar access and one of Melbourne's best views back onto the city.

Mullet House by March Studio

The balancing act that the local resident detested emerged when the brief called for off-street parking. The house would straddle the parking area, and even with the grade of Hardiman Street to advantage, excavation was unavoidable. Since a digger would be coming to site anyway, the opportunity to dig a little deeper and sink a large concrete box (along with the children in it) was far too good to refuse.

Mullet House by March Studio

Buried within the concrete box is the rumpus room, wine cellar, laundry, and an additional bathroom. The box is capped with a concrete lid and garnished with strategically placed, trafficable glass skylights. The monolithic form anchors the new building into the side of the hill and is finished internally by the rough reality of building - and being - underground.

Mullet House by March Studio

The concrete lid of the concrete box is not only the ceiling for below, but also the floor in both the kitchen and exterior deck. The pivot around which the other spaces are spun, the kitchen serves all parts of the house, while the dining and living areas are tucked up above the garage and closer to the night sky of Melbourne's city lights. Timber battens clad the extension, wrapping the three spaces together and providing a linear base for the last hovering piece.

Mullet House by March Studio

Soaring above the living spaces is the black zinc roof. On the northern edge the roof is pulled up to increase natural light to the northwest corner, and pushed down to the neighbouring building on Hardiman Street on the northeast, so as not to overshadow it. On the south side, the operation is reversed, and the southwest corner is lifted to create a framed view of the city. This simple twisting operation grabs light and views from two corners and anchors the remaining two with rain heads falling to collection tanks. The action and drama of the twist is expressed and amplified on the ceiling below by a series of hand-plugged timber battens.

Basement plan of Mullet House by March Studio
Basement plan - click for larger image
Ground floor plan of Mullet House by March Studio
Ground floor plan - click for larger image
Section of Mullet House by March Studio
Cross section - click for larger image
Section of Mullet House by March Studio
Long section one - click for larger image
Elevation of Mullet House by March Studio
Long section two - click for larger image
Elevation of Mullet House by March Studio
Street elevation - click for larger image
  • Anton

    Interesting concept for a house, but in reality I don’t really think that it’s a cozy environment to be in.

  • http://www.Apprentice-Ship.com/ Samuel-James Wilson

    I like this! The timber battens that make up the ceiling create a wonderful effect and transform the light that enters into the room, keeping the eye moving. I also really like the skylights into the playroom.

  • Amit

    I don’t think it’s nice to build so close to a neighbor. I bet they obstructed some windows eliminating some natural light. It’s very visually striking. I do like that.

    • zdenko

      This project is an extension to the adjacent house in question.

  • ct

    I think that the exterior and interior express completely different styles. It looks like the interior photographs were taken from a completely different building altogether. Where you have the exterior with quite an inviting warmth to it, the interior seems very cold. Love the overall concept though!

  • Concerned Citizen

    “Twisted” and “Mullet” sound like things I want to avoid.

  • Emmett

    I really like it as a stand-alone structure, but as an extension to an existing home, it is jarring. It looks nothing like the rest of the building and does not complement the existing structure.