Architecture

Wedge-shaped family home is squeezed into an awkward plot

Wedge-shaped family home is sq...
The recently-completed Acute House, by Oof! Architecture
The recently-completed Acute House, by Oof! Architecture
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Inside, the Acute House is spread over three main floors, plus a basement
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Inside, the Acute House is spread over three main floors, plus a basement
The Acute House contains two bathrooms: one in the basement and another ensuite for the master bedroom 
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The Acute House contains two bathrooms: one in the basement and another ensuite for the master bedroom 
Naturally, owing to the awkward shape of its plot, the interior layout of the Acute House is pretty unusual
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Naturally, owing to the awkward shape of its plot, the interior layout of the Acute House is pretty unusual
The master bedroom in the Acute House boasts an ensuite 
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The master bedroom in the Acute House boasts an ensuite 
The Acute House is located in suburban Melbourne
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The Acute House is located in suburban Melbourne
The Acute House is clad in matt black aluminum and salvaged timber from the previous house
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The Acute House is clad in matt black aluminum and salvaged timber from the previous house
The Acute House is located on a narrow plot that leaves no room for a garden
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The Acute House is located on a narrow plot that leaves no room for a garden
Full-height sliding doors and screens open up the main living area of the Acute House to the elements
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Full-height sliding doors and screens open up the main living area of the Acute House to the elements
Oof! Architecture reports that it wasn't possible to install solar panels, water tanks, or the like due to site and heritage constraints
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Oof! Architecture reports that it wasn't possible to install solar panels, water tanks, or the like due to site and heritage constraints
The recently-completed Acute House, by Oof! Architecture
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The recently-completed Acute House, by Oof! Architecture
The Acute House  features a gas-boosted solar hot water system, water-efficient toilet and taps, and efficient appliances
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The Acute House  features a gas-boosted solar hot water system, water-efficient toilet and taps, and efficient appliances
The Acute House is wedge shaped to make the most of the awkward plot
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The Acute House is wedge shaped to make the most of the awkward plot
The Acute House comprises a total floorspace of 144 sq m (1,550 sq ft), spread over three main floors, plus a basement
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The Acute House comprises a total floorspace of 144 sq m (1,550 sq ft), spread over three main floors, plus a basement
The architects attempted to mitigate the lack of garden in the Acute House with lawn green carpets, hanging plants, a central aquarium, and a balcony
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The architects attempted to mitigate the lack of garden in the Acute House with lawn green carpets, hanging plants, a central aquarium, and a balcony
The second floor of the Acute House includes the shared living spaces, such as dining area, lounge and kitchen
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The second floor of the Acute House includes the shared living spaces, such as dining area, lounge and kitchen
Architectural drawing of the Acute House
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Architectural drawing of the Acute House
Architectural drawing of the Acute House
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Architectural drawing of the Acute House
Architectural drawing of the Acute House
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Architectural drawing of the Acute House
Architectural drawing of the Acute House
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Architectural drawing of the Acute House
Architectural drawing of the Acute House
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Architectural drawing of the Acute House
Architectural drawing of the Acute House
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Architectural drawing of the Acute House

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 collaboration with the firm, interior designer Jessica Payne also furnished the home with lawn green carpets, hanging plants, and a central aquarium of aquatic plants.

The second floor of the Acute House includes the shared living spaces, such as dining area, lounge and kitchen
The second floor of the Acute House includes the shared living spaces, such as dining area, lounge and kitchen

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.

Source: Oof! Architecture

Update (Feb. 15, 2017): The article originally stated that Oof! Architecture was responsible for furnishing the home with lawn green carpets, hanging plants, and a central aquarium of aquatic plants. This was actually handled by interior designer Jessica Payne, working in collaboration with the firm. The article has been updated to reflect this.

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