Architecture Architecture is an award winning Melbourne-based practice, recognised for its dedication to contemporary architecture and design. With extensive experience working with residential, institutional and commercial clients, Architecture Architecture has a reputation for delivering high quality design outcomes for projects of all types and sizes. We are committed to providing exceptional design and project management services to all our clients. Under the directorship of Michael Roper & Nick James, Architecture Architecture offers the benefits of large-scale project capability along with the innovation and client-focus of a smaller architecture practice.
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The Purple Rose of Cairo
Recipient of a commendations at the 2013 Australian Institute of Architecture awards and the 2013 ArchiTeam Awards. Architecture Architecture has retrofitted one of Melbourne’s iconic Cairo apartments as in exercise in creating a fully functional abode within just 24m2. Embracing the philosophy of making more with less, they have created a simple space with maximum flexibility to address contemporary living needs within a minimum floor area. Compact robes and clever storage solutions are integrated with a fold-out bed and a handsome full-height curtain, creating the flexibility to quickly convert the single-room space from a bedroom, to a dining room, to an office, to a media room. A door has also been moved and a kitchen servery created, reactivating the forgotten entry area, maintaining a strong visual connection from the kitchen to the garden, improving natural light and ventilation and creating greater flexibility in the layout of the apartment. In an era when people are increasingly opting to live in cities and our urban fringes are forever expanding outwards, Architecture Architecture understand the imperative to make more with less, opting for high quality flexible space rather than inflexible specialised spaces – quality over quantity. Photography by Tom Ross of Brilliant Creek.
Against the odds, this modest extension has turned a dark, cramped residence with little backyard to spare, into a light-filled house with fantastic indoor and outdoor entertaining areas. The existing house was south-facing, casting itself into shadow, with unsightly neighbouring buildings imposing on all sides. By creating a U-shaped extension along the property boundaries, Architecture Architecture has turned everything around. The house now enjoys a generous private courtyard, with sunlight throughout the year. Shortlisted in the 2014 Houses Awards. Photography by Tom Ross of Brilliant Creek.
So what’s changed? The roof remains the same simple A-frame it has always been, the side walls are exactly where we found them, and the floor, predictably, is still under foot. Only this same roof, these walls and that floor have all been stretched towards the backyard. Now stretched, new living areas have opened-up in the spaces between them: a kitchen, a dining room, a study and an outdoor deck. This extension aims to complete the original house: increasing amenity, improving function and introducing daylight where it was lacking. Rather than building alien boxes onto the back of the house, the new living areas are a seamless extension of the existing ones, stretching and distorting their square geometries out into the backyard. A straight line can be drawn from the back corner of the living room to the outermost corner of the dining room, connecting the new with the old in one diagonal sweep. Curved walls gently pinch this axis at its centre, while light fittings and a skylight punctuate the ends. This is the first in a series of elongated, diagonal relationships which enhance the impression of spaciousness, both within the house and out into the backyard. Photography by Peter Bennetts.