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March 21, 2022

Using a boundary-blurring materiality, an architect designs a house that accommodates the clients’ lifestyle and expresses commitment towards the neighbourhood environment. A house tour of West Bend House – the built outcome created by architecture firm MRTN Architects and Brave New Eco interior designers – gives insight into the carefully considered details of the sustainable home.

Located in the Melbourne suburb of Westgarth, West Bend House emerges from a design brief that requested a sense of privacy for each member of the five-person household, encapsulated within a coherent and consistent interior design narrative. Responding to the brief, the architect designs a house reflecting the spatial configuration of a village – the different rooms are separated by changes in level, subtly referencing the variations found in natural terrain, but joined by a central communal space and connective passages.

When an architect designs a house, sustainability is keenly considered in acknowledgement of environmental context. The approach to West Bend House by MRTN Architects and Brave New Eco interior design studio testifies to this maxim, with both the architecture and interior design reflecting an eco-conscious influence. High-performance windows enable the home to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter, whilst brick and concrete flooring provides the house with thermal mass and large solar panels on the roof offer access to renewable energy.

Internally, the architect designs a house that reinforces the notion of a village-like sustainable home. MRTN Architects and Brave New Eco use materiality to seamlessly the integrate interior and exterior spaces, as internal brick flooring pays homage to the surrounding built environment. Materiality is also used to mark the individual character of each space, granting every room a sense of privacy through a distinct material palette and ceiling treatment.

Mirroring the clarity of the brief, the architect designs a house that, by the means of materiality and spatial planning, clearly answers the needs of the clients and the environmental context.

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00:00 - The Local Project Print Publication
00:20 - An Introduction to the Sustainable House
00:48 - The Architect
01:05 - Designing for the Family
01:33 - The Kitchen, Living & Dining Space
02:30 - The Different Living Spaces
02:54 - The Heritage Connection
03:20 - The Outdoor Spaces and Gardens
03:44 - The Back Garden
03:54 - Using Sustainable Materials
04:23 - The Solar Panels
05:02 - What the Architect is Most Proud Of
05:34 - The Local Project's Tri-Annual Print Publication

Architecture by MRTN Architects.
Interior Design by Brave New Eco.
Styling by Studio Georg.
Photography by Peter Bennetts.
Build by Lew Building.
Landscape Design by SBLA.
Sourcing and Art by Bea + Co.
Filmed and Edited by Dan Preston.
Production by The Local Project.

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