Jerram Tocker Barron Architects 2 Collingwood Street House

Built Environment 2021 Credits
  • Creative Director
    Simon Hall
  • Team Member
    David Johnson

An active retired couple intent on downsizing had built their home several properties up the hill about a decade ago. Although they were enthused by the area and views, they weren’t sure if the 331m2 site lower down could provide the elevation and amenities they required. Before they purchased, they invited Simon Hall of Jerram Tocker Barron (JTB) Architects to give his verdict.

“It was a an exercise in meeting all the wants and needs this generation likes and can afford on a small site including a nice, low-maintenance modern house with three bedrooms above double car garaging with a basement, swimming pool and a lift as well for accessibility,” says Simon. “The challenge is how you put all this on the land without completely consuming it and maintaining outdoor amenity.”

Much of his focus was on addressing issues around light, shade and privacy from the street in an interesting manner. His strategy was to provide a stacked stair at the back for vertical circulation up through three storeys and a lift at one end.

“It’s like a saddlebag attached to the main building form with all the services and bathrooms to the rear and views from the living areas and bedrooms in front.”

Going up three storeys with expansive floor to ceiling glass on each floor maximised light and created a generous feeling of open space inside.

“Because of the views and mature vegetation, you don’t feel like you’re among a lot of houses. It’s like living in an apartment. The trick was accentuating the views while at the same time, providing privacy.”

Geometric shade fins made from perforated powder coated aluminium, custom punched and folded like origami, maximise privacy and provide a unique architectural feature to the street façade. A louvred screen on the poolside deck off the lounge visually buffers the adjoining property.

Vertical construction over three floors effectively separates the main living from an independent guest studio the couple has used for Airbnb accommodation next to the double garage, laundry and lift on the ground floor.