Splinter Society Architecture transformed the shell of an old warehouse in Fitzroy North, Melbourne into this functional yet vibrant home for a new family. To keep costs down, the home does not take up the entire footprint of the warehouse - instead it uses the building's skeleton and foundation and extends living spaces outdoors to create a garden oasis. Sustainable design, salvaged materials and rainwater collection are all green strategies utilized in this inspiring adaptive reuse project.
The old warehouse is located in a dense urban setting surrounded by homes and buildings on all sides. The client tasked local firms Splinter Society Architecture and Birdsmouth Construction to transform the warehouse into a green, safe, non-toxic, happy and sunny environment that would meet the needs of both children and adults. Rather than taking up the entire plot, the home only uses a portion of the site while retaining the original brick warehouse exterior as its garden walls. The resulting home has 3 bedrooms, 2 living spaces, a study and a strong connection to outdoor living areas, a yard and green roofs across 3 levels.
The client also requested that the design retain the industrial feel of the warehouse, so some of the original materials were salvaged – including the foundation, beams, masonry walls, spotted gum boards, steel columns and more. One side of the home uses the original brick facade, while the other is clad in bright green metal screens, which help modulate solar heat gain. Solar orientation, a high level of insulation and double glazing work to minimize energy losses, and the home can open up to enjoy the outdoors and natural breezes. A solar heater provides hot water for the home, while rainwater is collected and stored in tanks for irrigation use. Energy-efficient systems and computer-controlled lighting further reduces energy use.
Images ©Brilliant Creek