Tower house

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Tower House – Andrew Maynard Architects

Tower House is a renovation and extension to a weatherboard home in Alphington, Victoria, Australia. They have restored the original, where they have two kids’ rooms, a bathroom and living spaces. A studio, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and dining occupy the new part of the house.  Tower House is the result of endless conversations with a trusting, enthusiastic, patient and encouraging client. Tower House is near parkland and the Yarra River, with views to the Amcor chimney stacks. Tower House is bound by two roads. One is a leafy post-war suburban street. The other, which faces onto backyards, feels like a country road. With the exception of a few new homes the context is small, humble weatherboard and brick abodes. A chunk of large contemporary architecture would be an imposition in this context.

The sustainability is at the core of Tower House. Rather than simply extruding the existing structure they have run the new form along the southern boundary so that it is soaked with sunlight. The openings and windows have been designed to optimise passive solar gain, thereby drastically reducing demands on mechanical heating and cooling. All windows are double glazed. White roofs drastically reduce urban heat sink and heat transfer internally. Need for air-conditioning is eliminated through active management of shade, and flow through ventilation. Water tanks have their place as they do on all of our projects. High performance insulation is everywhere, even in the walls of the original house.


All images © Tess Kelly

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