EAT Architects’ relocation house in Kew, Melbourne, impresses with its spaciousness, soft light and airy atmosphere. The house relied on a handful of design features, including bespoke domed skylights, geometric repetitions, light screens, and clever placement of the on-site architecture: Moving House was carefully positioned to be two-thirds the width of its block. with the other third reserved for the garden. This ensured that green spaces received plenty of northern lights. Arched skylights are designed to bring the maximum amount of daylight in from above, not the front, so that light is not at the expense of privacy.
A white screen made of aluminum slats also envelops much of the home and performs a number of functions. Its simple shape in the outline of a suburban gable roof offers structural clarity and subtly refers to the houses on both sides in color and shape. and the partially transparent screen gives lightness to the exterior design.
A visitor’s entry experience is lengthened by a short drive along this facade, past a series of recesses made of cantilevered concrete beams, plants hanging from gutters, and tactile, rough concrete surfaces. These provide partial shade and refuge. A beautiful green front with a fine wooden handle signals the end of this journey and the actual entrance.
The interior space is defined by repeated roof geometries – three arched concrete skylights, the form pillars supporting them, and unshaped gutter beams. And despite the raw, industrial feel of these materials, the strongest impression is the refinement.
The three skylights ensure that plenty of direct daylight, which is nuanced by the hours and seasons, enters this spacious room. while indirect light is projected differently onto the textured curves of the vaults. Due to the full glazing of the double-folded doors and windows in the east, the house can be fully opened to the garden in good weather. And these features, together with glass louvers at the top of the skylights, provide excellent cross ventilation.
Every evening, as the sun goes down in the west, the vaulted ceilings become faint and brief on the white screen. And soon afterwards the inner glow of artificial light transforms the stylized street facade into a lantern.