[VIDEO] A Complement with the Old and the New

Transformation and Movement in Design


This re-adapted heritage building is one of the few example of early 20th century chickory kilns located in Philip Island, Australia. Architect Andrew Simpson and his client, transformed the kiln into a home. As a heritage restoration and reconstruction project there were a number of challenges in providing a substantial improvement in the passive design of the building. To improve cross-ventilation existing windows were replaced with fixed double-glazed windows with timber louvered inserts to reduce the overall amount of glass to conform with the heritage constraints. New lightweight metal canopies were installed to provide passive-shading and an operable skylight was introduced into to draw heat out of the building. The decking on the north side of the kiln is integrated with a large concrete retaining wall and water trough that was originally built as part of the industrial function of the building and has now been tanked and refilled with water to provide a means of passive cooling. The project was delivered on a tight budget. Including the external deck areas the final building cost came in under $3000/m². Take a look at these photos and be sure to watch the video on page 4. Tell us what you think on our Facebook Page! 


A House for Hermes is the outcome of a collaboration between the architect and a client working as an artist and landscape architect. Sited on the northwest edge of Philip Island, the project involved the conversion of a heritage-listed chicory kiln into a couple’s residence. The design was conceived as part of an ongoing exploration of what might constitute “home” or “place” in a world where prevailing conditions are of speed, dynamism and change. This conceptual framing extended from an earlier art installation undertaken by the client that was exhibited at Tarrawarra Museum of Art in 2007.

The architecture is predicated, not on the rehearsed acts of enclosure or through the predetermined functions that define a house, but on the idea of facilitating and celebrating transformation and movement. Through the use of adaptive and reconfigurable spaces and the manipulation of thresholds and passages, the house is intended to be a place that engages with and is a catalyst for change. A sense of “open-endedness” – of new possibilities of inhabitation – is reinforced by the treatment of an interior landscape defined by contiguous interlocking volumes that encompass the exterior decking and surrounding context. This desire for serendipity is partly a response to Georges Perec’s question: “We should learn to live more on staircases. But how?”











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