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The outside design is reminiscent of a treehouse

Mihaly Slocombe

Architects


It’s not often that architects gets the chance to revisit one of their favourite project, so when Warwick Mihaly and Erica Slocombe were asked to complete the next phase of Hill House, located in Merricks, Victoria, they were absolutely delighted. Surrounded by rolling hills in a peaceful vineyard district, the next phase of the project was the completion of a Kids Pod – an addition to the existing building to accommodate the clients’ growing coterie of grandchildren.

The Kids Pod is based on a cubby/tree house theme but on a decidedly grander, more robust, more theatrical scale. The corridor that extends out of the existing house travels along the north edge of a new pavilion. This meant that all circulation space had to be on that side of the building while all rooms had to be on the south side. In terms of northern light and heat distribution, it wasn’t ideal. The solution was to separate the areas into rooms if necessary while having the option to open the space up at other times.

“The biggest bits that move,” says Warwick, “are external screens that act as shutters over the windows, that are lifted up and down by a series of factory winches embedded in the walls, theatrically inspired red curtains that are drawn out between bedroom spaces and the corridor space and also act as solar block-out blinds, and then a big heavy - it’s almost a wall - that pulls out to create a separation between the two rooms.”

Another challenge was integrating the windows and the steel framing for the shutters. Unfortunately, the timber window frames used in the first phase of the project hadn’t quite stood up to the really powerful winds that whip through the area. Instead, they set about finding a really robust system that would essentially never need painting again. “We’ve used AWS windows before,” says Warwick. “They’re not fussy, they’re really sharp and simple, and we looked at a series of products but that was the one we ended up coming back to every time.” Products selected from the AWS ThermalHeart™ range include Series 726 Framing with Sashless Double Hung Inserts with a Dulux Custom Black Matt Powdercoat Finish.

The outside design is reminiscent of a treehouse

Mihaly Slocombe

Architects



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Name: Custom Black
Grouping: Standard Colours


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