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The Essendon Residence 2 is a new brick residence in Essendon, Victoria. The brief included four bedrooms, study, kitchen, dining, lounge, media room/playroom, laundry, two car garage, and more, all in a single storey. The style of the house was meant to be period, but not necessarily any particular period. However, the owners had collected several images that included features from American Arts & Crafts houses.
Because a lot of space needed to fit on one level, whilst maintaining room to play in the backyard, the design had to be efficient. There is a double loaded corridor through the middle of the house with the bedrooms and support areas to each side to minimise the amount of circulation space. At over 6 metres high, this central passage is an experience in itself. It takes advantage of the extra height allowed by only building a single storey, and it allows natural light into the middle of the house through the high diamond shaped window seen on the front elevation. The end of the hall opens directly into the main family areas which are spread across the entire rear of the house to allow maximum use of the rear yard.
Since the exterior of the house didn't need to stay within any rules of a particular style, we were free to create a unique combination from several which still had the feel and character of an older home. As part of this, an extensive search was carried out by both the architect and the homeowner for face bricks which would be beyond the ordinary but still appropriate. It proved not to be an easy task in Melbourne, but we prevailed in the end.