Wedge-shaped family home is squeezed into an awkward plot

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The recently-completed AcuteĀ House, by Oof! Architecture(Credit: Nic Granleese)

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We've covered a lot of residential architecture from Australia, and some of the most interesting has involved architects working to renovate or replace aging energy-inefficient weatherboard homes, such as the Cut Paw Paw house and Tower House, for example. This is also the case with the Acute House, a wedge-shaped family home squeezed into an awkward triangular plot in Melbourne.

The plot that the Acute House is located on previously held an old weatherboard home that had fallen into disrepair. However, rather than destroy it completely, Oof! Architecture retained many of the materials from the old house to incorporate into the new residence.

"We tried to retain its weathered character by re-using as much original fabric as possible from warped weatherboards and fence palings to random accumulations such as door knobs, vents and street numbers," says the firm. "Like fragile museum artifacts, these were carefully removed, labelled, stored and re-installed in their original location on a new mount that not only highlights their charms by contrast but allows the house to live again in a new way."

The Acute House takes up all of the 48 sq m (516 sq ft) triangular plot, so unfortunately there's no space left for a garden. To try and mitigate this and offer some sense of the outside, Oof! Architecture installed a balcony and full-size sliding doors which open up the main living area. In addition, the firm also furnished the home with lawn green carpets, hanging plants, and a central aquarium of aquatic plants.

The unusual shape of the plot informs a similarly atypical interior layout. The architects spread the home over three main floors plus a basement, and there's a total floorspace of 144 sq m (1,550 sq ft) available.

The main bathroom is in the basement, and a kid's bedroom and guest room/office lies on the first floor. The second floor hosts the shared living spaces, including dining area, lounge and kitchen, and the third and final floor features the master bedroom, with ensuite and balcony.

Oof! Architecture reports that it wasn't possible to install solar panels due to site and heritage constraints, but the firm did add a gas-boosted solar hot water system, water-efficient toilet and taps, and energy-efficient appliances. In addition, the home's narrow floor plate encourages natural ventilation and allows for plenty of natural light inside.

It's definitely not for everyone, but the Acute House has bags of character and offers an example of an unattractive plot being put to good use.

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