translucent polycarbonate panels illuminate a flexible melbourne home designed by BLOXAS

translucent polycarbonate panels illuminate a flexible melbourne home designed by BLOXAS

‘earl street’ by australian practice BLOXAS is a project that experiments with the notion of permanency in residential architecture. situated down a quiet lane in melbourne‘s carlton neighborhood, the two-story family dwelling is designed to be light, open and flexible.

BLOXAS earl street melbourne designboom

images by peter bennetts

 

 

in keeping with their curious and research-led approach to architecture, the team at BLOXAS began the project by questioning preconceived ideas of space. ‘hot desking, mobile configurations, and virtual offices are all commercial strategies intended to break down our understanding of space. these strategies begin to pose questions about permanency and rigidity’,  says BLOXAS. ‘how do we define space, label it, stereotype it, and become accustomed to it through past experiences? what outcomes occur if we remove these labels and allow for a more dynamic and transformative delivery of habitation?’

BLOXAS earl street melbourne designboom

 

 

with the idea to remove the need for permanency in mind, BLOXAS distilled the program of earl street down to two solid brick boundary walls, two floating timber pavilions and a spine of perforated mesh. the floating wooden boxes contain the sleeping accommodation. there’s also a closed bathroom volume at the end of the floor plan. the rest of the house is left open, affording residents the flexibility to change how they use and inhabit the space.

BLOXAS earl street melbourne designboom

 

 

the exterior of the house is clad in black-colored brick and polycarbonate panels. the brick serves as a connection to the architectural fabric of melbourne while the translucent polycarbonate brings in natural light during the day and illuminates the building at night, animating the lane. it also gives a little hint to the life and light-filled spaces waiting inside.

BLOXAS earl street melbourne designboom

 

 

‘light penetrates this building from all angles,’  says BLOXAS. ‘it appears as if elements are free-standing, held lightly together by a white steel sub-structure. views to the sky create endless parameters. a shifting and versatile plan within a heavily built-up urban environment establishes a new way of thinking about the economy of residential space.’

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