"The silverleaves residence is an exploration and elaboration of the typical urban context - courtyard house".

"The open-courtyard configuration creates a flexible typeology. The house can be opened to the site and community & it can also be closed off and offer a secluded privacy".

The proposed new single level residence at  Silverleaves has been designed as a modest addition to the Silverleaves landscape. The site is heavily vegetated with a foreshore reserve to the northern boundary. The site offers no direct beach/ocean views.

There is currently a flood inundation overlay over the site and as a result the finished floor level of the house has been elevated to the required AHD level of 3.1 as specified by Melbourne Water.

The figure/ground relationship of the house within the site has been conceived as a ‘open courtyard’ configuration, with a central internal sanctuary that can be opened and closed to the landscape through the use of a battened screen divider.

The configuration of the house is 3 interconnected pavilions. One for kitchen, dining and living with associated service areas, one, master zone and one guest zone.

The main kitchen, dining and living zone has been configured to the rear, Silverleaves Ave end of the site in order to create easy access for the clients as they get older. This area is orientated east-west across the site with a large internal expanse of glass to allow northern light to enter the internal areas. In addition, three ‘pop-up’ high-level windows or light-catchers allow northern light to penetrate deep into the house throughout the day. The progressive height of each of the three ‘pop-ups’ builds an external, hierarchical language to the streetscape given the importance of each space within. The kitchen is seen as the most important, primary hub of the house and has the biggest pop-up above it. The dining is slightly smaller and the living smaller again. 

The angled roof/volumetric profiles of both the master zone and guest zone pavilions create sun protection to the internal courtyard at various times of the day. The master zone pavilion is higher and slightly more angled or raked to create hot, mid-late afternoon sun protection in hotter months. The guest zone pavilion has a protective extended eave line to reduce sun loading during hotter periods of the day.

The primary materials used for the proposed residence is vertical black timber boards to the extent of the lower podium or base. The high-level pop-up windows, are proposed to be clad in terracotta coloured concrete render to the sides and lined in an ‘Autumn red’ zincalume cladding to their roof.

The master and guest zone roof is to be clad in black zincalume cladding. The house is designed to become a back-drop to the beautifully, rich coastal landscape rather than attempting to over-power it in size, mass and materiality. In conjunction to this minimal impact in the removal of trees has been extensively considered in siting and massing of the proposed new residence.

The internal sanctuary “courtyard” will be planted in a variety of native coastal plants and shrubs to provide an extension of the external landscape within and give-back to the site.