In this thoughtful project in inner-city Melbourne, the architect has combined a conscious design philosophy of "architecture as background" with the pragmatic requirements of accommodating an energetic and busy professional lifestyle. Even though the site for the project exists within an area protected by a heritage overlay, the original building was regarded as "non contributory," meaning the architect had no formal heritage-related obligations that would influence design decisions. Confident but subtle architectural propositions have been made both in the functional organization of the dwelling and in its publicly visible form. A sequence of activity spaces is interspersed with open areas to create a light and spatially expansive building. These spaces are well planned, enabling a sense of community while also providing privacy. Clever material choice, deft form making and gentle disguise combine to create a fine addition to the heritage place. This project replaces a non contributory building with one of note, providing a fine example of how considered judgments and design strength can offer new ways of dealing with our living environments.
With House in House we go beyond the image, exploring notions of quiet architecture and Hermann Czechs Architecture as background. This building goes unnoticed at first sight, but reveals itself gradually over time. The spatial planning of the site is an array of spaces arranged along a central spine.