Simon Whibley Architecture completed the design and development of the Diagonal House, a lovely family crib meeting the living needs of a family of five in Fitzroy, Australia: “Seen in plan, the diagonal house’s singular gesture is a rhomboid volume, a kind of spatial easement that subdivides the site, creating courtyards on either side of the dining and living space. With its northern edge pulled upwards and its southern downwards, viewline and sunlight are drawn through the house on this diagonal axis, to the extent that afternoon winter sun extends all the way through the house, crossing the courtyard, to the edge of the existing master bedroom.” During the summer, this plan allows cross ventilation from the southern courtyard to the north.

Breeziness, both spatial and sensory, is experienced from the functional and personal spaces located at the periphery: “The study, kitchen/pantry, bathroom and bedrooms are tightly composed-like extensions or fragments of the Victorian house plan. In opposition to the dynamic space at its centre, the views from these rooms are aligned towards the more intimate spaces at the edges of the site. In this way, aspects of the existing dwelling are reinterpreted in the new and used to provide different kinds of space over a small area. This allows the substantial brief of a young family of 5 to be accommodated without a large footprint.” [Photography by Peter Bennetts]