Yes, it really has holes and, no, it’s not a giant doll’s house. It may look like one, but the fact is that this funky form ensconces a family of four rather snugly, with space to spare. Built on a street full of old terrace houses in Brunswick, Victoria, the Perforated House is a modern and ironic take on the traditional terrace design of its neighbourhood.
Bunged bang in between an old Victorian terrace house and a double-fronted Edwardian weatherboard house, this 5.5 X14.4 m home (about 49 feet in length) stands out because of its facade. The terrace design on the front of the home has been etched by drilling thousands of tiny holes in the aluminium plates which make up the facade.
The panels open up like giant bi-fold doors to reveal a dollhouse look with a living space that allows the sun to warm up the north side while the south side, which is also the front of the house, allows a view of the neighbourhood. When closed, the tiny holes allow the light to come streaming in.
Conceptualised and constructed by Melbourne-based Kavellaris Urban Design, the plan inverts the traditional terrace layout with the active living zones upstairs and the two bedrooms and
The north-facing terrace redefines the backyard feel by its mural feature that extends from the kitchen area. This burst of colour not only breaks the monotony but like any other traditional home, it allows the lady of the house to keep an eye on the children as she cooks. The master bedroom is functional and minimalist but a dash of magenta on the bed linen visually perks up the space.
The Kavellaris Urban Design website goes at length to explain the concept. “This project to us is a platform to establish a critical dialogue within our built environment; to raise questions as much as it is to finding solutions. It is a critique on our cultural attitudes and how we determine them. A critique on what we consider to be of heritage significance and how to narrate such ideas in a critical and contemporary manner.”
The creators wanted the house to be more than just a facade. More than just a message or a graphic stuck to a building. “Our building was not an urban canvas paying tribute to Venturi’s “decorated shed”, instead the external facade could be experienced internally and is also a multi-functional device that constantly transforms the built form from solid to void andfrom private to public.
Really, by day the building is opaque and solid and by night it inverts into a soft translucent permeable light box. The use of operable walls, doors, curtains and glass walls enables the occupants to change the experience and environment as they wish. This architectural manipulation of space blurred the boundaries between inside and outside, the public and private realm. A fact thoroughly appreciated, and enjoyed, by the home’s occupants.