Pirate’s Bay House by O’Connor and Houle

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Pirate’s Bay House demonstrates the adventurousness of a buccaneer’s ship, but also provides a rich, sensory experience through the vast sea of nature. Water is not the surrounding environment of this residence, but rather, tea trees cover the undulating contours of the land in Melbourne, Australia. A personal housing project from O’Connor and Houle Architecture, Pirate’s Bay House is intended to provide an embracing family space for the firm’s principals and their twins. The two wings of the house, one for the adults and one for the children, intersect at common living areas to form the L-shaped footprint of the house. The wall of the dining room boasts a beautiful strip of clerestory windows that act as makeshift spotlights highlighting the built-in shelving unit underneath. Similarly, planks of wood lining a kitchen wall proudly display plates and chinaware along with small treasures picked up from the recent explorations. Despite colorful furnishings and wall hangings, the house proposes an ascetic lifestyle that evokes, perhaps, the wandering resourcefulness of a pirate’s ship. The timber construction of the house contributes to this austerity, and also breaks down the barrier between interior and the trees in the immediate area to deliver a message of sustainability and appreciation for nature.

Images ©Earl Carter

Kimberly

Kimberly

Kimberly is a graduate from MIT's Department of Architecture, and has recently joined the publication team at MIT OpenCourseWare. While architecture remains her first love, her interests encompass literature – epic poetry and Medieval romances are her favorite – and also fashion.

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