House Within a Warehouse

Located in Hawthorn, Australia and designed by Splinter Society,  'House Within a Warehouse' is a new dwelling in an old warehouse shell designed to be a garden oasis.  Both architect and client strongly believe in compact urbanism, combined with green spaces and a sustainable approach to living, as part of a happier way of life.  The client brief asked for a highly sustainable house, executed in a clean and contemporary way and a 'warehouse feel', minus the cliches of industrial off-the shelf purchases.

The strategy to meet the brief and concept involved creating a layered system of screens and frames that split the site and lift the living spaces of the house, creating views to green spaces and established gardens beyond.  The site was a 200m2 landlocked warehouse, built to all boundaries and entered via a new residential development.  Its a dense inner urban setting, where the design solution allows the notion of 'interior' to extend beyond the infill, to the periphery of the warehouse walls, inviting the outside in.

The 'interior', a considered reassembly of parts from the existing warehouse, creates an aesthetic of texture and warmth referencing the property's historical context.  This new form steps back over three levels of built form, using the existing three storey wall to the south as one of its skins, for functional, aesthetic and sustainable qualities.  This stepping form creates four levels of green space, with roofs of spaces below forming gardens for both thermal performance and the inclusion of greenery.  Main living spaces are placed on level 1, capturing views, sun and neighboring greenery.

Functionally, the client brief asked for a sustainable, budget conscious house with clear zoning to raise young children and entertain.  The result is a house with 3 bedrooms, 2 living spaces and a study, split across three levels.  The internal floor area is 195m2, with 100m2 of outdoor built areas.  Semi open plan living spaces are contained on the first floor, where they are elevated for views over boundary walls opening onto outdoor spaces, whilst maintaining privacy from neighbors.  The zoning and layering of spaces assists in thermal performance, thereby satisfying the clients desire for a low energy house.