Architecture

Impressive green home emerges from a tiny block of land

Impressive green home emerges ...
The Beach Avenue home sits on a small block of land measuring 9 by 12 m and is tucked away behind neighboring properties (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
The Beach Avenue home sits on a small block of land measuring 9 by 12 m and is tucked away behind neighboring properties (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
View 51 Images
The Beach Avenue home sits on a small block of land measuring 9 by 12 m and is tucked away behind neighboring properties (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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The Beach Avenue home sits on a small block of land measuring 9 by 12 m and is tucked away behind neighboring properties (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
The beach side home boasts a maximum Australian GBCA 6 star Green Rating (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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The beach side home boasts a maximum Australian GBCA 6 star Green Rating (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
Australian Schulberg Demkiw architecture studio has recently completed an innovative new home in Melbourne (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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Australian Schulberg Demkiw architecture studio has recently completed an innovative new home in Melbourne (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
The beach side home boasts a maximum Australian GBCA 6 star Green Rating (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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The beach side home boasts a maximum Australian GBCA 6 star Green Rating (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
The children's bedroom also features an en-suite (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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The children's bedroom also features an en-suite (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
Large glass windows allow natural light to flood in (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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Large glass windows allow natural light to flood in (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
The architects were limited to building a maximum of two stories above ground so included a basement living area (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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The architects were limited to building a maximum of two stories above ground so included a basement living area (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
"This was an exciting project for us," principal architect Ray Demkiw tells Gizmag (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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"This was an exciting project for us," principal architect Ray Demkiw tells Gizmag (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
Recycled tallowwood was used for the home's interior flooring, windows, staircases and striking external cladding (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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Recycled tallowwood was used for the home's interior flooring, windows, staircases and striking external cladding (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
The Beach Avenue home is tucked away behind neighboring properties (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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The Beach Avenue home is tucked away behind neighboring properties (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
In order to create the two bedroom family home on the tight 108 sq m building site, the architects came up with a modern inward focus design (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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In order to create the two bedroom family home on the tight 108 sq m building site, the architects came up with a modern inward focus design (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
Recycled tallowwood was used for the home's interior features (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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Recycled tallowwood was used for the home's interior features (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
The home's interior design features an impressive "floating" concrete kitchen worktop (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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The home's interior design features an impressive "floating" concrete kitchen worktop (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
The home also features a sustainable gas fired hydronic heating system and high thermal mass interior (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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The home also features a sustainable gas fired hydronic heating system and high thermal mass interior (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
The Beach Avenue home's roomy kitchen kitchen (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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The Beach Avenue home's roomy kitchen kitchen (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
The home is designed to make the most of natural light (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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The home is designed to make the most of natural light (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
The challenge for the architects was to maximize the interior space of the home and flood it with natural light (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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The challenge for the architects was to maximize the interior space of the home and flood it with natural light (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
The master bedroom (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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The master bedroom (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
The master bedroom en-suite (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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The master bedroom en-suite (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
The master bedroom en suite (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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The master bedroom en suite (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
The bathroom looks out onto an internal bamboo garden (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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The bathroom looks out onto an internal bamboo garden (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
The bedrooms are divided by an internal bamboo garden, which offers privacy (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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The bedrooms are divided by an internal bamboo garden, which offers privacy (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
The Beach Avenue home is extended by 30 sq m (323 sq ft) of enclosed courtyards (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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The Beach Avenue home is extended by 30 sq m (323 sq ft) of enclosed courtyards (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
The bedroom includes an en-suite subtly separated by a metallic curtain (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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The bedroom includes an en-suite subtly separated by a metallic curtain (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
The challenge for the architects was to maximize the interior space of the home and flood it with natural light (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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The challenge for the architects was to maximize the interior space of the home and flood it with natural light (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
Wooden cladding allows natural light to enter while providing privacy (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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Wooden cladding allows natural light to enter while providing privacy (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
Hidden walk-in wardrobe (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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Hidden walk-in wardrobe (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
The bedrooms are divided by an internal bamboo garden, which offers privacy (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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The bedrooms are divided by an internal bamboo garden, which offers privacy (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
Architect Ray Demkiw talks to Gizmag about the Beach Avenue home (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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Architect Ray Demkiw talks to Gizmag about the Beach Avenue home (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
The architects came up with a modern design which stretches over three levels and features an inward focus (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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The architects came up with a modern design which stretches over three levels and features an inward focus (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
En suite bathroom detail (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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En suite bathroom detail (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
Architect Ray Demkiw talks to Gizmag about the Beach Avenue home (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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Architect Ray Demkiw talks to Gizmag about the Beach Avenue home (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
Recycled tallowwood was used for the home's interior flooring, windows, staircases and striking external cladding (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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Recycled tallowwood was used for the home's interior flooring, windows, staircases and striking external cladding (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
The Beach Avenue home is extended by 30 sq m (323 sq ft) of enclosed courtyards (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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The Beach Avenue home is extended by 30 sq m (323 sq ft) of enclosed courtyards (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
Kitchen area, with "floating" concrete worktop (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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Kitchen area, with "floating" concrete worktop (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
Perspex was used at ground level to aid the passage of light to the basement (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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Perspex was used at ground level to aid the passage of light to the basement (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
Bamboo plants were planted at the basement which extend up through to the ground floor courtyard (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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Bamboo plants were planted at the basement which extend up through to the ground floor courtyard (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
The home's interior design features an impressive "floating" concrete worktop (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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The home's interior design features an impressive "floating" concrete worktop (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
Beach Ave home by Schulberg Demkiw Architects (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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Beach Ave home by Schulberg Demkiw Architects (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
Bamboo creates a natural connection between the two levels (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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Bamboo creates a natural connection between the two levels (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
Master bedroom (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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Master bedroom (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
The en-suite, subtly separated from the bedroom by a metallic curtain (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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The en-suite, subtly separated from the bedroom by a metallic curtain (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
Large mirrors help make the small space seem bigger (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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Large mirrors help make the small space seem bigger (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
View from within the shower (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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View from within the shower (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
The home's interior design features hidden cupboards and pull down beds (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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The home's interior design features hidden cupboards and pull down beds (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
The home's interior design features hidden cupboards and pull down beds (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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The home's interior design features hidden cupboards and pull down beds (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
Limed hoop pine timber was used on ceilings and recycled tallowood was used for the home's interior flooring and windows (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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Limed hoop pine timber was used on ceilings and recycled tallowood was used for the home's interior flooring and windows (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
Recycled tallowwood was used for the home's interior (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
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Recycled tallowwood was used for the home's interior (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
Beach Ave home by Schulberg Demkiw Architects
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Beach Ave home by Schulberg Demkiw Architects
Beach Ave home by Schulberg Demkiw Architects
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Beach Ave home by Schulberg Demkiw Architects
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View gallery - 51 images

Australia's Schulberg Demkiw architecture studio has recently completed an innovative new home in Melbourne’s beach side suburb of Elwood which boasts a maximum Australian GBCA 6 star Green Rating. The Beach Avenue home sits on a small block of land measuring 9 by 12 meters (29 x 39 ft) and is tucked away behind neighboring properties. The challenge for the architects was to maximize the interior space of the home and flood it with natural light, all the while making it spacious and private.

"This was an exciting project for us," principal architect Ray Demkiw tells Gizmag. "Designing a property on a site this size, with limited access and boundary-to-boundary restrictions threw up some challenges. We had to separate zones between each level and give the house warmth whilst using in situ concrete."

Recycled tallowwood was used for the home's interior flooring, windows, staircases and striking external cladding (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
Recycled tallowwood was used for the home's interior flooring, windows, staircases and striking external cladding (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)

In order to create the two bedroom family home on the tight 108 sq m (1,162 sq ft) building site, the architects came up with a modern design which stretches over three levels and features an inward focus, concrete walls and large floor-to-ceiling glass windows. The result is an expansive 220 s qm (2,368 sq ft) home which is extended by additional 30 sq m (323 sq ft) of enclosed courtyards.

"We were limited to building a maximum of two stories out of the ground so we included a basement living area," says Demkiw. "We were surrounded on three sides by our four neighbors, so we created our own internalized design focusing on internal courtyards. The natural light was difficult to funnel through the three levels so we used courtyards and skylights to assist us."

Recycled tallowwood was used for the home's interior (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
Recycled tallowwood was used for the home's interior (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)

Perspex was used at ground level to aid the passage of light to the basement and bamboo plants were planted at the basement which extend up through to the ground floor courtyard, creating a natural connection between the two levels. Limed hoop pine timber was used on ceilings and recycled tallowwood was used for the home's interior flooring, windows, staircases and striking external cladding. The home also features a sustainable gas-fired hydronic heating system and high thermal mass interior.

"Working with small spaces restricts you but makes you work harder to come up with solutions," says Demkiw. "You are always pushing the envelope. Inventiveness is paramount and maximizing the possibility."

The home's interior design features an impressive "floating" concrete kitchen and study bench, hidden cupboards, pull down beds and sliding inside-corner doors which open out to the external zones. Both bedrooms include an en-suite bathroom which is subtly separated by a metallic curtain. The bedrooms are also divided from each other by an internal bamboo garden, which offers privacy.

The home's interior design features an impressive "floating" concrete kitchen worktop (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)
The home's interior design features an impressive "floating" concrete kitchen worktop (Photo: Edoardo Campanale for Gizmag)

"I love the off-form concrete walls, ceilings and bench-tops, the tallowwood flooring and cladding, the timber slating, the simplicity of the windows, the light, the warmth and the spaciousness," says Demkiw. "I also love the mood and atmosphere of the basement which was the surprise package for me. I never envisioned it would be as beautiful and peaceful as it is."

The residential home cost approximately AUD1 million (US$830,000) to complete.

View gallery - 51 images
5 comments
Len Simpson
I have some small building experience & I was very impressed with the simplicity & tastefulness. Apparently tho, a lot of highpriced pencilpushing went on.
Oun Kwon
A small house to fit for tight space costing near $1 million? any part made of gold and platinum?
Noel K Frothingham
Don't recall this being an inexpensive design exercise mentioned in the article.
Mark Salamon
"Green" homes won't begin to have a beneficial impact on the environment until they are made affordable. This house is lovely and efficient, but unfortunately it's priced beyond the budget of average and low-income home buyers. (I think most folks would also prefer more privacy in the water closet than those transparent curtains that divide the bathroom from the bedroom...)
Straw_Cat
If what I saw in this building is Portland based cement, there's no way this qualifies as a 'green' building. If it is either rammed earth or a rammed earth/ magnesium cement (like Sorrel cement) mix, then maybe i has some green credits. Magnesium cement will eventual reabsorb all the CO2 created in making the cement, turning back into limestone. So the net CO2 production isn't 1 tonne/ 1 tonne of cement, but just what was created transporting the cement, etc.
Even still, that can be a lot.
And that doesn't factor in the CO2 created making and installing the glass, etc., or all that plastic/ fiberglass furniture. Or the ongoing energy costs of cooling the building.