Cubby House by Edwards Moore
Edwards Moore’s stunning renovation of an existing apartment in Fitzroy, Melbourne that creates more available space by stripping away dividing walls and focusing on the concept of continuous living space called “Raumplan”, which was developed by architect Adolf Loos in the 1920’s. Dubbed Cubby House, the project is filled with reclaimed materials, features transforming spaces that define multiple functions, and has reflective views that increase indoor natural lighting.
Adolf Loos was a Czech-born Austrian architect famous for his essay Ornament and Crime, where he argues that unnecessary décor should be punishable as if it were a crime. Loo’s other popular theory,”Raumplan,” is based on the idea that instead of dividing a house up into rooms by adding walls — a house should consist of one continuous arrangement of living spaces. Edwards Moore rid Cubby House of walls and doors providing a floor plan with enhanced flexibility and sustainability.
The project’s intent was to enhance and add an extension to an already existing apartment overlooking a public swimming pool. Edwards Moore maximized floor space on the first floor and provided an extra floor that houses a bedroom and bathroom. The design studio wanted to connect the interior spaces to the exterior by developing ways to reflect the views of the neighborhood outdoor pool into the interior.
The lower level of the house is designated for mainly public use. Edwards Moore raised the original ceiling to allow room for the injected elevated kitchen floor. The kitchen platform is the first step for the staircase, which wraps up from behind the kitchen island and along the window wall. The stairway is supported by a rhythm of pillars that cast interesting shadows from views coming in from outside. The lobby entrance encased inside a gold box also serves as storage for wine bottles and acts as a privacy screen for the powder room. The wall adjacent to the entry is covered completely by a built-in bookcase that extends along the length of the whole wall from floor to ceiling.
The upper level addition is constructed of steelwork that is left partly exposed on the ceiling of the double-height space. The top floor is filled with light from the skylights above and from the windows overlooking the pool outside. Once arriving from the stairs, the bedroom wardrobe creates a corridor walkway to the bathroom. Glazed panels in the bathroom reflect the natural light coming from the circular skylight for a heightened natural light experience. The bedroom wardrobe is wrapped in three OSB panels and has a gold reflective front that can rotate to create a new small study or guest bedroom space. There is also an outdoor terrace on the upper level that is intimately connected to the bedroom space and is designed to enhance natural ventilation throughout the house.
Edwards Moore designed Cubby House’s interior to have high polished sharp lines contrasting with rough and tactile surfaces. The designers stuck to a fairly neutral palette with occasional pops of saturated color from natural wood sources. The materials include reclaimed limed timber, OSB, sisal, vic ash and finalizing the floors with white concrete.