The Naked Architect: Silhouette Hytte, Workshop 3

Are you looking to renovate or build a new home and have considered using an architect but don’t know where to start? The best way to truly appreciate the benefits of engaging an architect is to hear straight from the architects and clients themselves, and in the homes they’ve created together.  The Naked Architect is a workshop series that arms consumers with in-depth knowledge about working with an architect on a residential renovation and/or new build. FIGR Architecture and their client invite you to step inside the doors of their recent project – Silhouette Hytte. Book your spot to hear them ‘bare all’ about the design process and managing a budget.

Questions to consider:

  • What was the breakdown of fees from stage to stage?
  • What are the different fee models? How are they appropriate?
  • What happens if the client chooses to terminate the project?
  • How are the project budget and fees related?
  • How is the project budget controlled? Who is responsible for it?
  • Is it okay to cut things out of the project, then put them back in?

Project Overview

Nestled in the quiet streets of Elwood, ‘Silhouette Hytte’ House is located on a narrow 210 m2 block. The site is 34.4m long by 6.1m wide and has an East facing backyard. Presented with a number of challenging constraints such as a heritage overlay, flood overlay and close proximity of neighbouring trees, the project required a carefully considered design response to achieve the clients brief.

The brief asked for a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house with open plan living, dining, kitchen and study that needed to be practical, contemporary and complimentary within its existing context.

We wanted the proposition to be modest and for it to respect it’s context. The familiar form and pitched roof makes reference to the existing house vernacular, with a playful and updated appearance. Formally the way we approached the building envelope was to use a simple extrusion of the existing house silhouette. The extruded envelope is reduced to its simplest form removing eaves and decorations. Subtractions in the envelope create openings to light and program amenity. Whilst the traditional roof profile is simplistic in form it is however very generous in volume.

The fold in the rear elevation negotiates the close proximity of the neighbouring tree canopy which further creates a dynamic experience to the rear facade with the building changing appearance and proportion from different vantage points. Insertions into the envelope in the form of the black metal shrouds establish openings that relate to both visual and natural light amenity. The basic forms allow the program to expand beyond the envelope and retain the simplistic form of the extrusion. This is expressed in the dining room where the box form insertion into the extruded envelope allows the dining zone to expand beyond the envelope whilst retaining a functional open plan arrangement.

Existing bricks from the old shed have been re-used for the new backyard paving. The use of black standing seam metal cladding provides a strong contrast to the shiplapped timber boards and timber doors.


FIGR Architecture — Practice Profile:

FIGR is a multi-disciplinary design studio dedicated to making architecture more valuable to people. We believe architecture has the ability to engage all our senses. From our homes to our workplaces, it can give us a deeper emotional connection with our environment, landscape and most importantly, ourselves.

Measured and creative, our award-winning architectural approach is reinforced by a rigorous commitment to excellence and efficiency. FIGR delivers the highest standard of architectural and interior design services in a thoroughly creative, competent and cost-effective manner. Working with FIGR is an open, conversational experience. Our inclusive, friendly but focused attitude allows us to engage carefully with our clients’ desires, physical project constraints, budgets, time frames, compliance and construction processes.

The most important part of creativity, discovery is the work before the work that magnifies the true particulars of a project. It builds a wealth of knowledge, confidence, and understanding. This facet of the design approach deeply embodies our name. FIGR reflects the essence of exploration and at the same time, the exciting prospect of what is to come.


Other workshops in Series 3:


About The Naked Architect

The Naked Architect is a workshop series that arms consumers with in-depth knowledge about working with an architect on a residential renovation and/or new build. A series of interactive workshops will provide a behind the scenes look at what it is like to work with an architect. The series is targeted at people who are considering renovating or building a new home and have considered using an architect but don’t know where to start, or are apprehensive about working with an architect due to the common myths around affordability, complexity and ego. The workshops will offer practical guidance, advice and ideas about engaging an architect on a home renovation or new build project.

The Naked Architect is an initiative of Open House Melbourne, with support from the Architects Registration Board of Victoria, and in association with ArchiTeam.

Images: Tom Blachford

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Important Details


Elwood VIC 3184

Time & Date

Saturday 5 October

FIGR Architecture
Workshop 3: Silhouette-Hytte
Theme: Fees and Budget


Note: Full address details available upon booking. Light refreshments provided.

Access: Limited mobility, shoes off at door, photography restrictions may apply.

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