The Slope House was designed for a young family with two children on an inclined block in Mt Eliza that looks down into a small valley. A vital part of the brief was to create a home where the family could maintain a sense of one another without sacrificing retreat or privacy. This desire for a home that promotes awareness and retreat became the main driver throughout the design process. Drawing upon the sites topography to naturally define this intention the arrangement of the home becomes graphic in form: two neat, stacked boxes gently stepping down the hill.
The site for the new home is an interesting sloped site on a battle-axe block that looks across a short valley. In response to the family’s alternating need for privacy and refuge as well as connection, the house was conceived as a pair of two separate pavilions connected at a central core. The main pavilion houses the parents and formal living spaces, and is orientated to take advantage of the view out to the valley. The second pavilion accommodates the children’s bedrooms and flexible spaces, and is aligned north to maximize natural light.
A singular palette of timber is used externally to express the graphic form of the two stacked boxes.
This seemingly uniform closed façade is actually articulated by a range of shading devices integrated into the building. As needed these panels open to breach the shell, affording a spectrum of uses, views and privacy as well as responsiveness to the varying seasons.
Allowing the slope of the house to define the arrangement of the volumes, the children’s pavilion is lifted up, lightly touching the slope and balancing on the pavilion below. This creates a double-height volume where they intersect and the family gathers. This double height intersecting space becomes the heart of the home around the kitchen through the daily routines around meals, entertaining and family.
An open mezzanine above caters for a flexible play area and study whilst subtly connecting to the children’s volume up the slope. This outdoor space is perfectly positioned for the kitchen to spill out onto a shaded north-facing outdoor deck and vegetable garden. Operable windows encourage engagement from the bedrooms above. An exposed stair connects both floor levels maintaining the language of two stacked volumes and simultaneously opening up views across the site.