Kaur House

A new house for a sub-divided backyard block in inner-city Melbourne, the design is an innovative solution to a tight block and stringent heritage requirements.


Stepping the external form back in line with the legislated set-backs created a sculptural interior space which is decidedly non-domestic in scale. Pushing all services against the southern boundary created a light-filled internal void with a volume rarely achieved in the inner city. Bedrooms and bathroom spaces are screened from the larger area through sliding joinery, allowing them to be opened to the void when desired.


The project travelled through VCAT appeals unscathed, satisfying the tribunal that the design was an wonderful response to the historic, eclectic laneway context. The arbitrary material controls imposed by council were also avoided; it was successfully argued that the building represented a much more respectful response to the contextual materiality, while avoiding the heavy massing specified by default.

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