Beecroft House

Publisher:
Hornsby
Publication Type:
Artefact
Citation:
2007
Issue Date:
2007-01
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Beecroft House is a built project that re-scripted a Federation era family home from a single dwelling to dual occupancy for the next generation of inhabitants. In doing so the project challenged the legitimacy of existing zoning laws that enable suburban sprawl by demanding sole occupancy. The existing model implies the nuclear family model is the model of the suburb. In this project two sisters inherited the family home, one a single mother with a teenage daughter and the other living with her partner. The property was a depository of family histories and memories and afforded a living type - with outbuildings, an extensive garden, a pool, that none of the occupants could afford to replicate by selling the home. How then to divide the home in two, affording privacy for both families while allowing for shared zones and on occasion, a shared whole. The built project passed through zoning inspection as a simple extension, it was then 'furnished' to establish more complex zones of occupation. A model of contested space may be the taped or painted line - a line would not illegally challenge the zoning laws but would establish territories. A fluid line through the centre of the property was established with a series of wall elements providing gradations of privacy: cupboards concealed doors, windows became shelves. Duplicates were required; duplicates of bathrooms are not unheard of although duplicate kitchens are signposts for these illegalities. One sister was a chef, a well-appointed kitchen emerged; the other sister an artist and so a well-appointed 'studio' emerged, equipped with a sink and cooking facilities. Deep thresholds to the exterior provided visual privacy and did away with the need for the physical manifestation of territorial lines, the fence.
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