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go cats!

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Passion for the Geelong Football Club was the inspiration behind this house located on the edge of a new Warrnambool subdivision. The blue and white colour scheme, the colours of the footy club, are worn on its ‘sleeve’ as well as throughout the interior spaces. The curved steel façade conceals a terrace that wraps the corner site, giving the design a robust street presence as well as framing views over the Merri creek.


The brief was for a simple retirement house that included separate guest accommodation for family and friends. A compact house of 160 square meters, it has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and an open plan kitchen / living area connected to two first floor terraces. To benefit from the light and views over the creek, the main living spaces are located on the first floor, while the guest bedrooms, bathroom and laundry are on ground level. The single run of stairs linking the two floors is designed to accommodate the later addition of a stair climber, to allow for ‘aging in place'.


There were no other houses on the subdivision when our clients engaged us to design their new home. The design quite literally follows the adage of being a square peg in a round hole, with the empty subdivision allowing freedom to respond playfully to the brief for a couple of ardent football barrackers. Curved bands of blue steel wrap a square form mirroring the curved frontage of the corner site and create shading over the north windows and outdoor living spaces.


Achieving privacy on the site was always going to be a challenge and the curved steel balustrade provides a privacy screen from those strolling past while framing the distant landscape views. Large horizontal strip windows are orientated north and east, towards the street and the creek views. In contrast, the home’s austere rear elevation looks south over the subdivision, with small windows providing only glimpses of the unknown future neighbourhood.


Constructed with Hebel Panel, the house performs at a high level of energy efficiency. The building envelope has high levels of insulation, gaps carefully sealed, windows are double-glazed with thermally-broken aluminium frames and shading is designed to exclude the summer sun while admitting winter sun deep into living areas. Internally, the palette is kept simple with materials such as laminate joinery, Corian benches, vinyl floors and walls all animated by striations of blue and white, to ensure the Cats are never too far from mind.

Project Team:

Architects: Daniel Cooper, Bianca Scaife, Emma Sommerville & Georgie Broeren.
Structural Engineer: Holmes McLeod Consulting Engineers.
Builder: Bolden Constructions.
Photographer: Tess Kelly.

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