Conformity is often the result of the strict building regulations that govern many new developments. But with a little lateral thinking it's possible to break the mould while still adhering to the rules.
This terrace house in a new subdivision could have mimicked its colonial-style neighbours, but architect David Hillam opted for a more contemporary language that better suited the owners.
"The local regulatory body obviously wished to create some consistency with the housing, hence the similar front elevations and identical pitch of the roofs," he says. "But, for this house, on a sloping site at the end of a cul-de-sac, I wanted to break away from the predictable straight-line front elevation and articulate the building a little more between its immediate neighbours."
Working within the confines of a tight, wedge-shaped site, Hillam designed a layered, square-edged elevation, and offset the front door to one side. The four-storey house is also aligned to address the view down the street in one direction, and out to the city on the other side.
Hillam says placing the door to one side of the house enabled the floor space to be maximised. It also provided for a three-storey void, which progressively expands into the house, allowing morning light to diffuse the interior.
"Creating a vertical space was a way to bring light into the middle of the house, and compensate for the closed-in sides," says Hillam.