Brighton Street Residence is a family home designed to be open yet private, with a connection to the outdoors.
Working with a small site in inner Melbourne posed a number of challenges:
- Creating a spatial program that satisfied the requirements of a family home
- Balancing privacy and aspect on an exposed corner block
- Creating a sense of openness in particular for ground level internal spaces and providing opportunities for outdoor amenity across multiple levels.
The design response drew on the existing brick boundary walls, extending them along both street frontages to envelop the ground-level bedrooms. These rooms are oriented towards a secluded north-facing internal courtyard which provides light and natural ventilation.
The privacy afforded by the courtyard allows each room to take advantage of floor-to-ceiling windows to create a sense of light and openness. On the first floor, window apertures to living areas were increased to improve views of the streetscape. High windowsills were used to restrict pedestrian views from the street, balancing the owners’ desire for privacy and outward views.
Small terraces and balconies were incorporated into the design to allow the owners to extend their living functions into outdoor spaces. At roof level, a large outdoor terrace area was created to provide a substantial outdoor living space in place of the traditional backyard.
A key component of this was the inclusion of a permanent pergola structure to create shelter from the elements, particularly in the summer months. Each level is connected via a common stair which also acts as a light well for the for the ground floor entry and basement level. The open nature of the stair is balanced by a solid central wall to restrict views from the street into the primary living spaces.