AB House

  • 2023

  • Architectural
    Architectual Design

Designed By:

Commissioned By:

Private Client

Designed In:


AB House is a bounded house on a Barwon Heads block. Raised off the ground due to a flooding overlay, the house is broken up into primary elements of varying spatial organisations, allowing the family to grow and recede during the ever-changing occupation over the course of a year.

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Image: Benjamin Hosking
Image: Benjamin Hosking
Image: Benjamin Hosking
Image: Benjamin Hosking
Image: Benjamin Hosking
Image: Benjamin Hosking
Image: Benjamin Hosking
Image: Benjamin Hosking
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  • AB House provides an ingenuous use of steel construction unseen in the Australian residential context. Raised off the ground due to a flooding overlay, the steel frame that elevates the house forms the basis of all architectural design objectives. Organised into zones of temporal use, each area of the house is arranged via a rotational play that the steel frame allows. This novel approach to an exposed steel frame utilises steel’s capabilities to its fullest, allowing the interior and exterior composition of the house to be twisted and turned when shading and privacy requirements are needed.

  • Established early in the brief as a place for the couple to stay intermittently and have visitors occasionally, AB House functions extremely well. With the back of the house able to be closed off, the front can act as a one-bedroom house that the clients can occupy without the undue requirements of a larger home. The clients also established strict privacy requirements while wanting to ensure large access to sunlight. The use of the skylights and northern windows shower the main spaces with natural light throughout the day, while skylight blinds, window positions and operable screening make privacy possible.

  • Given the block was initially restricted for sub-division, the decision to raise the house above the flood line provided the inhabitants with an opportunity to build their dream house in a location thought near impossible. Added to this, AB House has provided the clients with a refuge of both privacy and openness. With the ingenuity of the design allowing connection inside and outside, the clients have been able to find a holiday rhythm, while also being able to gather their growing family over long periods of time. In this way, the family’s life has changed for the good, forever.

  • At the core of this house’s conceptual framework is a question of separation and connection across the occupation of a holiday home. Organised into zones of different uses (long term, short term, and transition space), each element of the house is arranged via the rotational play of the corridor that generates complimentary opportunities for light, shade, and ventilation while ensuring seclusion. Yet the planimetric compositions of space and subtle uses of doors and screens enable connection between occupants and the coastal suburban context. At eye level, each part of the house is provided with different viewpoints and different areas of the garden. Above eye level, skylights along the west and east allow the collective areas to capture the sun, while maintaining privacy from neighbouring properties. Despite this desired separation, a continuity of space is established by the individual spatial organisation of each element - the back of the Kitchen is the Living and the top of the Living is the Study. The Western Deck, which sits in the middle of the site for greater sun access, provides an extension of the Kitchen. Open the front doors, and the space expands all the way through the house and out into the street.