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The Essendon Residence 3 is a new two-storey brick and render residence in Essendon, Victoria. The property is beautifully situated adjacent to a peaceful public reserve, but it also came with various complications. First, the site is sloping significantly from one front corner to the opposite rear corner of the block. Second, due to the reserve, a large part of the downhill portion of the land is subject to flooding. Finally, there is a heritage overlay which dictates that the new home must be in keeping with the character and scale of the surrounding Californian Bungalows, but not duplicate their style.
This irregularly shaped block has an unusually wide street frontage for the area, although not all of it could be utilised due to the flooding overlay. The even longer boundary adjoining the park is north-facing and would allow maximum natural daylight into the house as well as uninterrupted views into the reserve. An L-shaped layout was developed to take advantage of both frontages as well as avoid the area subject to flooding.
The shorter leg of the "L" is the street-facing, single-storey section of the house. This portion is smaller scaled to suit the neighbourhood, but it also stretches across the front of the property as far as allowed. The second leg of the "L" is a larger two-storey section which was set further back from the street. This portion is narrower and longer to take advantage of as much of the northern aspect as possible.
The slope of the land was used to advantage as well. The wide front section ends with a bay window cantilevering from a sunroom over the hillside, projecting toward the parkland. There is no boundary fence here, and the two views created by its triangular shape emphasise the long, distant views to the left and right down the linear park. Standing in this room, one feels as if they are actually living within the park. In the rear section, the house gradually rises out of the hillside to allow direct views over the boundary fence and into the park from the raised "ground level" lounge, dining/kitchen area and alfresco. The ceiling height of the lounge at the rear corner of the house is then increased by lowering its floor closer to the level of the ground rather than by raising its ceiling.