Almost familair

These townhouses by Jesse Linardi play down their mass and play up their individuality
upper floor plan area, diagram, font, line, product, product design, rectangle, text, white
upper floor plan

An exciting design can be achieved without expensive, exotic cladding or complex feats of engineering. With just a little imagination, standard building materials and a simple structure can provide a dramatic, affordable outcome.

For this project, architect Jesse Linardi of dKO Architecture was asked to create two, two-level townhouses on a small corner site. The designs had to conform to council requirements of sitting well with single-storey cottages nearby. The developer also wanted the two houses to be architecturally forward-looking and offer a viable investment, says Linardi.

"In response, we designed the townhouse in commonly used materials and similar, complementary base-and-roof combinations with a twist."


kitchen area, dining table, open-plan rooms flow into architecture, ceiling, dining room, floor, flooring, house, interior design, kitchen, living room, real estate, room, wood flooring, white
kitchen area, dining table, open-plan rooms flow into one another

"While there are references to traditional roof forms, we manipulated the typology to create interest and to mitigate the impact of the two-storey masses on the street," says Linardi. "Using classic, affordable materials in creative ways such as running the steel roofing down the walls and simple build forms that didn't require specialist construction helped keep costs down."

Seen together, the houses have a reciprocal relationship.

"Similar but individual, they avoid a cookie-cutter look but benefit from the efficiency of sharing related forms and the same building materials. For example, the pine cladding is simply stained differently to achieve the dramatic contrast."

facade from street - two houses. architecture, building, facade, family car, home, house, luxury vehicle, neighbourhood, property, real estate, residential area, suburb, black
facade from street - two houses.

The townhouses surprise in other ways, too. The living spaces are on the first floor, allowing for picture windows near the street boundary while maintaining privacy.

"In another response to the tight site, we placed the decks on the roofs of the base elements," says Linardi. "This allowed us to create outdoor spaces that connect with the living spaces."

Jul 30, 2012
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