O’Grady House

Whiting Architects contrasted a dark exterior with bright interior spaces and white details to mix function with mixed heights and spaces in the Melbourne, Australia neighborhood home.

  • area / size 1,722 sqft
  • Year 2016
  • Location Melbourne, Australia,
  • Type House,
  • This project deals with volumes and forms. Concealing and revealing views and functional elements. Large forms slide into the space crossing boundaries of exterior to interior and stack like crates, breaking up the space between laundry/utility and living. Two agendas – it can all be opened up or the space can be closed off as necessary. Visitors only see what is required. The option to conceal or reveal elements; formal and familiar visitors experience the space differently.

    Doors are disguised as panelled walls, the attic inserts into the roof allowing framed views to exterior and interior areas without denying privacy. Light filters through the house. Lines are blurred between interior and exterior through architectural forms and decorative. The external is invited inside.

    Minimal space, maximum impact. We didn’t need to design more just had to design better. We kept the building envelope single level on the rear for minimal impact and cost effectiveness. It’s just what it needs to be.

    Colours define primary forms and allow the volume of white space to assume prominence. A vintage barn door to the rear laneway sits in harmony with the crates’ tones and in opposition to the rear façade. The simple black and white palette is continued in the main and loft bedrooms with a blackboard wall standing proud in the stairwell wearing a graphic white cross light. Black is introduced to the window seat to blend the line between interior and exterior and to create drama. The overall style and approach is monochromatic and we utilized tone to accentuating and give weight to the architectural elements.

    The kitchen has a ‘work’ precinct at one end; the fridge is recessed into the rear wall ‘hiding’ behind oak handles. We ‘see’ it without knowing its purpose. Benches in robust Dekton run the length of the living space topping the floating joinery element which conceals kitchen paraphernalia and appliances, allowing the kitchen to extend right through the living space discreetly ending at the doorless entry to the butlers kitchen/utility space.

    The project was completed in collaboration with Carole Whiting

    Design: Whiting Architects
    Photography: Sharyn Cairns