May Grove was designed by Jackson Clements Burrows Architects for a professional couple and Biggles the cat. The client required a modern, low maintenance, open plan sanctuary in the inner city. The design meets the client’s programmatic requirements while also offering a variety of engaging spatial conditions, light and volume to enhance their daily living experience. The project explores the relationship between public and private space and re-imagines the vernacular single fronted terrace typology.
The design draws upon a restrained material palette of recycled red brick, raw cement sheet panels and timber. The façade is abstract yet engaging and interactive with the street. The double garage and upper level windows are articulated with operable perforated shutters which create a seamlessly integrated façade. Pragmatically the operable shutters are devised to expose views, control ventilation, gain solar access and provide privacy. The operability and translucency of the shutters contribute to a level of engagement with the street. This is amplified in the evenings when the glowing perforations animate the façade and create a playful and vibrant entry forecourt. The project provided an opportunity for a private house to engage at an urban level. Unlike its neighbors, the house does not enclose itself with a front fence but creates relief with the open forecourt situated within a streetscape of concrete crossovers and high fences.
The entry gesture is externalized, signified by a linear deck beginning at the footpath which spans along the eastern boundary. The operability and translucency of the shutters contribute a level of engagement with the street, amplified in the evenings when the glowing perforations animate the façade to create a playful and vibrant entry forecourt. On the ground floor, a singular open plan volume accommodates the kitchen, living and dining areas while a double garage fronts the entry forecourt. The first floor accommodates two bedrooms and bathrooms and a large central void which vertically inter-connects the interior volumes. The design meets the client’s pragmatic constraints within budget while also offering a variety of engaging spatial conditions, light and volume to enhance their daily living experience.