House 5 Urban Insertion

House #5
A prototypical Laneway terrace Typology for Melbourne


House#5 is a prototypical laneway housing typology for Melbourne. As the city's population surges to 7 million by 2030, there is increasing pressure on housing demand and land-use; the tendency is to build on greenfield sites creating urban sprawl. House#5 addresses livability, affordability and sustainability of urban housing using under-developed inner-city land, primary those 'trapped' in the back service laneways. The typology, conceived as a green urban infill, can infiltrate the existing fabric as housing demand increases.

Utilising under-developed urban land for quality housing
The prototype dwelling, currently under construction, is sited on a narrow disused urban car park which is 4m wide by 15m long. Due to a lack of space, the design elevated the garden 8m above the ground to create a thick roof. The first floor consists of a kitchen and dining area with a generous inside/outside terrace – a deliberately deep threshold that encourages ambiguous occupation of space. The ground floor contains private spaces; places for sleeping and cleaning the body. The house is punctuated by a 'baroque' stair that brings natural daylight into its heart through a series of roof lights. Unlike typical timber-framed construction, the house is built inside-out due to the constraint of the narrow site and boundary conditions.

Returning to Craft through Robotic Fabrication
The textured concrete interior wall is designed to maximise the surface area, acting both as thermal mass to regulate the interior temperature passively as well as to reduce the flutter-echo effect of the hard surface. Here, advanced research in digital fabrication is deployed to create an intricate and crafted interior. The project develops an innovative construction technique utilising a standard modular formwork system with robotically milled high-density foam layer. The technique produces varying texture to the interior wall and soffit using self-compacting concrete. The foam moulds are re-used as insulation in the block-wall cavity, screed and roof. Another innovative aspect of the house includes the laminated birch plywood freeform roof structure - both the formwork and roof are manufactured by the architects using advanced robotic and CNC fabrication.

Resilient design for climate change
Australia is very much at the forefront of climate change, and the prototype house is designed to respond to such a crisis. The project is designed to reduce the CO2 footprint of the dwelling over its life cycle, utilising passive cooling strategy and air-tight detailings. The sedum roof contributes to the site's existing ecology, and the PV cells enable the house to be off-grid with plans to borrow neighbouring building rooftop to extend the PV network. The architecture detailings and choice of material mean that the house has a much longer life-span, up to three times that of a typical timber frame construction – a critical push to advance Australian housing construction standard towards a more resilient future.


Project Credits:
Lead Architects: LLDS Architects
Principal Designers: Dr Paul Loh and David Leggett
Design and Research Team: Yuanye Huang, Kyle Kwon, Xuyou Yang, Tim Cameron, Nan Li and Darren Ng.

Builders: Foundation Constructions Pty Ltd
Concrete Structural Engineer: Bollinger + Grohmann Ingenieure (Sascha Bohnenberger and Bernhard Waschl)

Off-form Concreter: Roniak Construction (Nick Angelopoulos)
Formwork Fabricator: Power to Make
Photography by LLDS Architects

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