Faraday Street House

1992 - 1993
Carlton, Victoria, Australia

This was my first house, which I designed for myself and my family. When we grew out of it we sold it and built the Kew house. Central to this building is the notion of journey. The building is so small that to create the illusion of space a visitor is forced to walk the full length of the house before arriving at any programmed space. To rise up through the three level building he is forced to re-trace his steps. This maze-like journey concludes by rewarding the visitor with a striking view of Melbourne’s skyline.

The corridor is interpreted as a tunnel and a gap in the wall alludes to a special space behind the wall and obliges one to seek the exit at the other end. This point also marks a boundary between the living area and the courtyard outside. The long cell of the living area is defined by its boundaries, each of which is differentiated by shifts in colour and materials – subtle methods by which the main space of the building obtains a subjective and experiential quality. This idea of edge is reinforced and expressed by gaps between horizontal levels or by varying levels and ceiling heights. Acoustics and confusion as to the source of sound generated on the timber flooring enhances a sense of mystery and creates uncertainty as to where exactly the house begins and ends.

The house presents a tough face to the street, deferring neither to its neighbours nor its general context, but attempting instead to tackle the universal issue of public and private interface through its abstract quality.