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House in a Warehouse turns industrial space into efficient family home


August 26, 2013

House in a Warehouse, by architectural firm Splinter Society, is located in Hawthorne East, Victoria (Photo: Brilliant Creek)

House in a Warehouse, by architectural firm Splinter Society, is located in Hawthorne East, Victoria (Photo: Brilliant Creek)

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House in a Warehouse, by Melbourne-based architectural practice Splinter Society, saw the transformation of a former industrial space into an efficient family home. The attractive property incorporates storm-water collection, passive cooling, and a computer controlled lighting system to reduce grid-based energy requirements.

The home is located within the shell of an old warehouse in Hawthorne East, Victoria. The client voiced a desire to turn the former industrial structure into a green space, while still retaining some of the original feel of the warehouse.

Splinter Society certainly met this remit, and the original building's south wall remains intact, with previous windows and cast brick vents still in place, but serving the new residence. The home stretches across three floors and incorporates two bedrooms, two living spaces, a study, kitchen, and several garden spaces.

Carefully-placed green steel screens reduce the sun's penetration, and offer increased privacy. Existing on-site materials were re-used wherever possible, lending environmental, aesthetic, and budgetary benefits. This included the reuse of existing beams as joinery, masonry walls, and steel columns into the new layout.

Additionally, the property features large water tanks which store collected storm-water to be later heated with a solar heater. All lighting throughout the house is controlled by an intelligent computer system to minimize electricity waste. House in a Warehouse also boasts a number roof gardens, each of which sport 50 cm (20 inches) of soil, providing additional thermal mass and insulation.

The home's small 195 sq m (2,100 sq ft) indoor space and three-floor design facilitates the drawing of cool air from the ground up in summer, while a combined solar chimney and heat pump system performs the reverse action and recycles heat back down to lower levels in colder months.

Source: Splinter Society

About the Author
Adam Williams Adam scours the globe from his home in North Wales in order to bring the best of innovative architecture and sustainable design to the pages of Gizmag. Most of his spare time is spent dabbling in music, tinkering with old Macintosh computers and trying to keep his even older VW bus on the road. All articles by Adam Williams

Nice place, but a dumb name. What's next? A bus conversion known as 'House in a Bus'? It's a warehouse conversion - a house in a warehouse would be a very different thing and probably very dark.

Marcus Carr

I agree - totally dumb name! Thought I would see the warehouse structure mainly intact - like some barn type revisits - with perhaps very large skylights adding light, but no. I don't count a single wall left down one side as being a warehouse. This is virtually [99 per cent] a completely new house with an old brick wall incorporated.

The Skud

Does not look like a 'warehouse conversion' to me ... All they have retained is a single wall down one side, the rest of it is totally new. A true conversion would retain, say, 80 per cent at least, with perhaps large skylights in the roof.

The Skud

I agree. Where's the warehouse ?

Martin Hone

I think you're splitting hairs. The word "conversion" is used to describe "a change in character, form, or function" of what was unquestionably a warehouse. Would you maintain that a "warehouse demolition" was also an incorrect term, due to the fact that the pile of bricks at the end of the process didn't sufficiently resemble a warehouse?

Marcus Carr

I liked the look of the house and the internal layout, also the reuse of materials and thought it a good concept, but would question the cost effectiveness compared to a 'normal' house and the area as a place to live in, Schools, amenities etc?

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