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Inside the stone ‘townhouse’ designed to make people more social

Inside the ‘hello house’: How this unusual home on a typical suburban street has been designed to make neighbours more ‘social’

  • Kristan Kirkpatrick bought a block of land with her husband Andy and daughter in Port Fairy, Victoria
  • She wanted to create a space that allowed her to be close to the community with a front courtyard
  • The mother invested help from her brother Nick Braun, who is a director at Sibling Architecture, to build it
  • They created a light-filled townhouse with a gate at the front that provokes conversation between friends 

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When Kristan Kirkpatrick purchased a block of land to build her family home on she had one very special request for the architects designing it.

The mother-of-one wanted the property to bring her closer to the community at Port Fairy, south-western Victoria, and have the opportunity to speak with neighbours from her front yard. 

So she employed her brother Nick Braun, who is the director of Sibling Architecture, to build two houses – one to live in and the other to sell – that would ‘open up’ to the street. 

When Kristan Kirkpatrick purchased a block of land to build her family home on she had one very special request for the architects

‘Sibling spoke a lot about the way in which the house is not just yours to go inside and close up, but also something that can potentially be opened up to give back to the street,’ Kristan told House magazine. 

‘On a day when we were all there during a jazz festival about seven or eight people in a two-hour period came up to us for a chat. That was proof in the pudding, that we could be sitting out the front and have this connection to the neighbourhood.’

Having a veranda is key for social interaction but Nick and his team decided to create frontal courtyards, calling the project ‘Hello House’.  

Kristan employed her brother Nick Braun, who is the director of Sibling Architecture , to build two houses - one to live in and the other to sell - that set up about creating 'openness' to the street

'Sibling spoke a lot about the way in which the house is not just yours to go inside and close up, but also something that can potentially be opened up to give back to the street,' Kristan told House magazine

The mother-of-one wanted the property to bring her closer to the community at Port Fairy, south-western Victoria, and have the opportunity to speak with neighbours from her front yard

'The Victorian lattice-work is inspiration for the mesh screen that frames the front courtyard, which mediates between the house and the street while allowing for partial privacy to be maintained,' the website read

‘The Victorian lattice-work is inspiration for the mesh screen that frames the front courtyard, which mediates between the house and the street while allowing for partial privacy to be maintained,’ the website read

Archways that reference Victorian portico and doorway details punch through the screen to provide playful variation

Archways that reference Victorian portico and doorway details punch through the screen to provide playful variation

‘The Victorian lattice-work is inspiration for the mesh screen that frames the front courtyard, which mediates between the house and the street while allowing for partial privacy to be maintained,’ the website read.

‘Archways that reference Victorian portico and doorway details punch through the screen to provide playful variation.’

While the front is a feature all on its own, the inside is another work of art that lets in copious amount of light – another firm request by the family. 

'Inside beautiful light from the continuous north-facing highlight windows dances through the space all day long,' Sibling Architecture said

The kitchen becomes the central social space anchored between the open plan dining and living areas

While the front is a feature all on its own, the inside is another work of art that lets in copious amounts of light – another firm request by the family

Kristan said working with her brother was easier in some ways because they could have 'frank conversations' about she wanted without fear of offending anyone

Kristan said working with her brother was easier in some ways because they could have ‘frank conversations’ about she wanted without fear of offending anyone

‘Inside beautiful light from the continuous north-facing highlight windows dances through the space all day long,’ Sibling Architecture said.

‘The kitchen becomes the central social space anchored between the open plan dining and living areas.’ 

The mesh design from the courtyard continues with cupboards and storage areas throughout the house, intermingled with ocean blue colours and a statement orange bathroom sink.

Kristan said working with her brother was easier in some ways because they could have ‘frank conversations’ about what she wanted without fear of offending anyone.

But mostly she allowed the architects creative control and is impressed by the result. 

The mesh design from the courtyard continues with cupboards and storage areas throughout the house, intermingled with ocean blue colours and a statement orange bathroom sink (pictured)

The mesh design from the courtyard continues with cupboards and storage areas throughout the house, intermingled with ocean blue colours and a statement orange bathroom sink (pictured)

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk