A massive empty warehouse has been recently converted into a modern family home to accommodate a couple and their three teenage children in Australia. The project was conducted by Corben Architects, who encountered several challenges before the planning stage: “Complexities of the project were the site’s light industrial zoning, its location in a flood zone, under a flight path and heritage issues requiring the retention of the existing roof trusses and street facade. Another key issue in the design was getting light and air into the living and bedroom areas given less than 15% of the enclosing walls opened to an external space.” A creative solution to all these was to design an inner courtyard, that brings enough sunlight and natural ventilation inside.

Conserving and reinventing the industrial heritage of the building led to an intricate house design, filled with inspiring elements: “The main entrance and stair have been encapsulated by a piece of black and walnut joinery providing useful storage and containing the air conditioning units. The lower floor living areas revolve around the kitchen that features a nine-meter long polished concrete bench that appears to fold out and float above the concrete floor.” Acting as the social core of the residence, the double-height living room retains the roof framework of the original warehouse, for a striking visual effect. [Photography by Steve Back]