Building sites in central city suburbs are hard to come by and are often the leftover bits of land that no one has yet been brave enough to build on. Anglesea Street is just such a site and sits at the bottom of a valley. Access is down a steep drive from one side of the valley and the site climbs steeply up the other. To add to the challenge, an existing neighbouring house is built hard up to the eastern boundary presenting a two storey block wall to that side and large trees overhung the northern and western boundaries. It was always going to be a difficult site to design for and a difficult site to build on.
Shanahan Architects and TP Builders have collaborated on a number of projects and this one has made full use of their skills. The house is built over three levels with garaging on the lowest level, bedrooms on the mid level and living areas at the top straining to make the most of the northern sun. While the footprint is small the house accommodates 3 bedrooms and the living areas are spacious with high sloping ceilings. The living area opens onto a northern courtyard to make the most of the outdoor areas available and the sloping section is landscaped to enhance the outlook onto the western side of the site.
The house is small but the detailing is precise and considered. A narrow glass atrium against the neighbouring block wall encloses the stair and creates visual separation from the neighbour. A roof garden provides a pleasant outlook from the dining room and rusted steel screens create privacy for the mid level bedrooms. The precise detailing carries on into the interior with equal attention given to stair detailing, kitchens and bathrooms.
The expectations of the client and the demands of the site have been considerable but the result speaks of a challenge accepted and met with enthusiasm and determination.