Edition Office <em>Hawthorn house</em> 2019. Courtesy of the architects<br/>
© Edition Office. Photo: Tom Ross

Edition Office

Edition Office

Free entry

The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Fed Square
Ground Level

View on map

Edition Office Hawthorn house 2019. Courtesy of the architects
© Edition Office. Photo: Tom Ross

Edition Office
(est. 2016, Melbourne)

Led by directors Aaron Roberts and Kim Bridgland, Edition Office is an architecture studio that engages in cultural, social and technological research to enable an exploration of material expression, form and spatial practice. The studio works across a number of sectors, including residential, institutional, commercial, education, urban design and interiors.

Completed in 2019, the Hawthorn House in Melbourne came about via a brief to design a family home that would age gracefully: a private yet open house with multiple living areas to allow for growing children and the changing needs of both them and their parents. The result is a home defined by a pair of large concrete shrouds, structurally crucial yet each with its own proportion and personality, which dictate how the spaces within the home relate to one another. On the first storey, the concrete shells form a protective layer over the sleeping and bathing spaces, while on the ground level they provide both connection with the landscape and moments of unexpected lightness and warmth.

Composed of two pavilions linked by a small walkway and courtyard, the building is designed with the idea of a sanctuary in mind, bolstered by a profound level of openness to nature while maintaining privacy from the street. The material palette and detailing is intentionally restrained, with the concrete shells cast against a formwork of re-used, old rough-sawn Oregon timber, and balustrades and door handles made from brass, timber and concrete that will age authentically with time. With passive solar principles used throughout, winter sun floods into the living spaces while the heat of the summer sun is held back. The structure also benefits from high thermal mass and generous cross-ventilation to keep the house naturally cool in the warmer months.

In 2022, Hawthorn House won the Grand Designs Australia Magazine House of the Year Award, and in 2019 it took home awards at the Australian Institute of Architects’ National Architecture Awards, as well as a commendation at that year’s Houses Awards. At the 2019 National Architecture Awards, the jury said:

Hawthorn House is an abstraction made material. It is a provocative spatial diagram transformed into a powerful experience of refined details and a restrained yet luxurious palette of wood, curved glass and concrete.