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by Bellemo & Cat



Architects home office, Completed 2007, Location Northcote Vic Australia The central idea in this project was to create a container for living and working that whilst still engaging with all the site issues of the industrial neighbourhood enabled us to take a thread from the first cocoon we spun for ourselves in Wye River and weave it into the fabric of this next home for ourselves. The site is in a narrow service lane of old brick warehouses, sheds and garages: these are predominately built to the boundary allowing for maximum internal space and minimum external fuss. Our response to this context and our needs was to create a new warehouse/container building, using the same formal language going for maximum site coverage with a building wrapped on three sides in a translucent printed skin. The skin was removed on the north side to allow north glazing and a elevated slice of deck along the length of the building. The image does two things it is our graphic garden experienced from both the inside and the outside, our urban jungle and most importantly it is the thread that continues a series of works, personal line of investigation,inquiry . The first in the series Cocoon Wye River ]created for ourselves, in its unfinished basket weaving form gave rise

to a sculpture called “2 Cocoon” which was then cut up to become “polywarp” which was then photographed and digitally cut up again to become the cladding for this latest house “polygreen” thereby creating some lineage for this succession of houses or shells for ourselves. The plan works as follows, office on the ground floor facing the street seperated from the house by the garage with the kids bedroom downstairs, the rest of the space is open with split level floors enabling kids play areas, master bedroom and kitchen/living/dining on separate levels with separate split level decks joined by a slide carpet in fake grass. To make the most of the available amenity the length of the house facing north has double glazed windows and doors, louvred windows ,an awning, a water tank and services for hydronic heating tucked under the floor. To be kind to our neighbours we have given them a light and lovely backdrop that disperses light and greenery throughout the neighbourhood. In fact the choice of color for the image was in response to a neighbour who asked for a bit of greenery. It is a compact low budget house and office that utilizes all its available space and actively engages with its neighbourhood and life in this busy friendly little street.

Northcote, VIC
Bellemo & Cat
9489 5812
Project Team
Design architect: Michael Bellemo
Design architect: Michael Bellemo
Structural consultant: Felicetti
Builder: Michael Bellemo
Designer: Cat Macleod
Documentation: Ashley Every
Designer: Cat Macleod
Documentation: Ashley Every
Photographer: Hyatt and Associates
Photographer: Peter Hyatt
Photographer: Peter Hyatt

Photographs by Hyatt and Associates, Peter Hyatt & Peter Hyatt, text by Bellemo & Cat

Link directly to this award entry: is the website of The Royal Australian Institute of Architects