Sketched out by Will Harkness Architecture, this modern home in Lorne, Victoria, Australia features 1,980 square feet of space and accommodates a retired couple and their adult family. Due to a series of local height restrictions and the site's steep nature, the project posed a series of challenges for the architects, challenges that were negotiated with great success.
Even though most two-story buildings have social areas on the ground floor and private ones at the upper levels, the Lorne Hill House flaunts an opposite arrangement. Its communal spaces benefit from the best views, as they are located at the upper floor, which can also be accessed directly from the back of the house. Downstairs, the bedrooms ensure comfort and privacy while benefiting from plenty of natural light.
From the architect:
This compact holiday home in Lorne, Victoria was designed for a recently retired couple and their adult family. The house negotiates a very steep site, planning height restrictions, and a modest budget. The clients were keen to capture the stunning coastal views, while retaining as much of the existing native vegetation as possible.
The house was conceived to be a sculptured geometric form, articulated through window placement and refined, yet honest detailing. It was important for the dwelling to be flexible, and able to accommodate larger groups when required. The plan is efficient, but ample, and feels generous through its volumetric spaces.
An 'upside down' living arrangement prioritises communal spaces - affording them the best coastal views. And due to the steep nature of the land, the upper floor can be accessed directly from the rear of the site.