Perforated House Challenges and Reinvents Historic Architecture


For architects working on projects in historic districts or in an area with a concentration of period buildings, solving problems can suffer reduced emphasis over adhering to the predetermined style. Kavellaris Urban Design(KUD) in Australia were challenged to design a house on a vacant lot in between a row of Victorian terrace houses and an Edwardian weatherboard house. The firm saw an opportunity to critique the surrounding historic buildings, many of which underwent predictable interior renovations to make them more ‘modern’. The architects concluded that the demand for the historic houses was based more on people’s romanticized nostalgia for the structures rather than their good design. To KUD, the ornamental facades dictated a ‘neighborhood character’ instead of responding to it.


KUD studied the terrace house, sampled the good parts and rewrote the rest. Top on their list was to address the lack of environmental sustainability in the old houses. One of the big areas for improvement over the old structures was to get more natural light into the building thus reducing energy consumption and allowing for natural ventilation. The north facing terrace redefines the “aussie” backyard reinforced by the childlike mural reminiscing on a past era and making commentary on the changing demography of the family unit and ultimately the inner city house typology. The perforated house incorporates north facing glass bi-folds doors and louvers for cross ventilation as the primary means of cooling.



In designing the exterior facade, KUD saw an opportunity to represent the past and also create something that was dynamic and engaged the community. The glass facade is opaque by day and has the traditional terrace detailing screened on to it. At night, interior light filters through the wall and transfoms the house into a glowing box. The entire front wall of the second floor can be opened up making the second floor a huge terrace.

Inside, traditional planing elements were borrowed but many of the walls can be moved and altered to make spaces either public or private. This flexibility allows the occupants to tune the interior experience and function to whatever the demands of their lifestyle require.

Want to see the house in 3d? KUD have uploaded a model to the Google Sketchup Warehouse. Preview it here.

source: Designtoinspire


  1. Very inspiring. Could the concept work as a stand alone house or as a line of these houses?

  2. i guess so, its just the same concept

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  4. When used in architecture, perforated aluminium can be really beautiful. My friend knows a designer who orders batches of perforated metal sheets regularly, and he uses them to create designs for buildings, furniture, and even jewelry. That type of modern design is trendy now, apparently. I haven't seen such patterns in clothing, though.