Australian architecture firm POLYstudio has recently completed A House for All Seasons, a contemporary family home with an emphasis on energy efficiency. Designed for a young family, the sustainable new dwelling has a flexible layout to accommodate the clients’ evolving needs within a relatively compact footprint. The project’s adherence to the principles of the Passive House standard along with native, drought-tolerant landscaping helps reduce the home’s carbon footprint.

a shot of the front of a building from outside. a white brick facade makes up one part of the building, and dark gray slats make up a small portion of the right side of the building. the attached garage is made up of white slats. a white fence is in front of the house

Located in an inner-city Melbourne neighborhood, A House for All Seasons is defined by a contemporary aesthetic that’s respectful of its heritage streetscape context. Spanning two floors across 230 square meters, the home breaks up its monolithic massing with a dynamic facade constructed with a varied material palette ranging from brick to metal cladding. In contrast to its cool-toned exterior, the inside of the home exudes warmth thanks to timber accents and select pops of color that punctuate the minimalist interior. 

a room with a living room separated by a gray curtain. in front of the curtain is a wood dining table with chairs. to the left is a rug in front of a staircase. a dark blue front door is visible on the opposite wall.

“The design and planning of the house continues our exploration of spatial organisation that is legible but flexible and layered, incorporating devices such as partition curtains and permeable screening to create spaces that are intimate but also bleed into adjoining spaces,” Daniel Wolkenberg, founder of POLYstudio, noted. “The use of polished concrete, blackbutt plywood and a mix of feature colours contributes to a warm and engaging interior.”

Related: A Melbourne worker’s cottage gets revamped into a solar-powered family home

a streetview of the front of a building from outside. a white brick facade makes up one part of the building, and dark gray slats make up a small portion of the right side of the building. the attached garade is made up of white slats. a white fence is in front of the house. to the right you can see a green yard area.

Informed by passive solar design principles, the home provides year-round thermal comfort with minimal dependence on mechanical heating and cooling. Carefully selected durable materials, low-flow fixtures, and drought-tolerant vegetation contribute to the sustainability of the home. The home’s compact footprint allows for lawn space and an outdoor patio in the backyard that seamlessly connects with the open-plan living area, kitchen, and dining area indoors. The first floor comprises three bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, a playroom, study and an outdoor balcony.

+ POLYstudio

Images by Tatjana Plitt