High House by Dan Gayfer Design
From the architects _ “High House is the end product of a significant renovation to a five-metre wide inner city terrace. Only the original front two rooms were retained, the new addition meeting the requirements of a young couple that, planning a family, were intent on taking terrace living to a new level.
Significant emphasis was placed upon encouraging interaction, between small and large groups of occupants, in all living spaces. Ledges/steps, built in furniture, benches etc. are all purposefully located to facilitate and promote conversation and activity between occupants.
The design of interior and exterior elements are tailored towards the client’s everyday living and movement patterns. Custom seating on the rear and rooftop terraces is one example; it facilitates the client’s tendency to lounge, dine, rest and entertain outdoors whenever possible.
Finally, a palette of fixtures/fittings, materials, finishes and colours was painstakingly identified, not one feature being selected without considering its impact on every other component in the project.
To encapsulate the multifaceted brief, the client essentially wanted to turn inner city terrace living on its head. They wanted the convenience of inner city living without compromising on space, function, interaction, flexibility and light. Considering the physical limitations of the site and detailed brief, an intense design approach was adopted that initially focused on meeting these diverse functional requirements.
Extensive testing was done on the spatial design of each floor until every square mm of space had been attributed a specific role in the client’s everyday lives. Space and light are delivered through uncharacteristically high ceilings both on the ground and first floors, building boundary to boundary on both floors and strategically placed skylights, windows and doors.
Flexibility is achieved through the integration of both living spaces with adjacent outdoor areas; both spaces become considerably larger with sliding doors open. Functionally, every space is inherent of carefully thought out elements that in some cases are not exclusive to one space; cabinetry being one such example.
The outcome of this design process is High House; a high level of functionality, flexibility, interaction and detail in a house with high ceilings, a high roofline and high levels of natural light.
The design of the built form is strongly driven by the need to provide natural light to the narrow site and south facing ground floor living spaces. An internal courtyard in the middle section of the house distributes light into a bedroom, bathroom and dining room/kitchen. The northwest corner of the dining room is ‘cut away’ and replaced with a custom skylight that saturates the dining room and kitchen with northern light for the majority of the day. Additionally, skylights above the stair void filter light down into the living room at the south end of the ground floor.”