Three Stories North

Splinter Society
Three Stories North

In its most recent incarnation, Three Stories North is an untraditional family home that embraces its layered history.

Working with creative clients, the design approach is informed by their initial belief that beneath its previous renovations the building’s industrial heritage is quite unique. The project’s primary objective is to realise its existing potential rather than replace it with something entirely new.

alt text

The design is first and foremost a process of reduction to allow the character of the original building to be the primary feature. A key component of this is to retain and reveal the masonry construction giving the home an undeniable warehouse feel. Many original details such as arched doors and fireplaces are maintained in working order. Where possible the imperfection of the brick walls are celebrated as an indication of their history. At a few points glazing is used to fill gaps in the masonry to clearly delineate what is original and what is new. At the ground level, the original timber ceilings are also exposed.


Once two separate townhouses, the space is bisected by a masonry wall across all three stories which forms the axis for circulation. The levels are joined by a stair which hangs from this wall, inspired by an industrial fire stair. Dividing the plan perpendicularly, a central core forms a chimney-like feature which extends through a 9m high skylight while providing joinery elements to each of the spaces. Within the three-dimensional cross section, half of the house if zoned for public spaces, a quarter to more intimate spaces and the remaining quarter forms the dramatic void which connects the three stories and entry.

The considerable internal space is practically indiscernible from the unassuming traditional exterior. The entry is set back from the original façade creating an entry courtyard and allowing a 3-storey glass façade to bring a substantial amount of light into the spaces as well as opening up to a large tree canopy in the streetscape. A large door is fashioned from 140-year-old timber joists repurposed from the demolition.

As a balance to the larger architectural spaces, the living spaces are much more intimate, characterised by subtle colours, texture and plush soft furnishings. Rough sawn timber lines the walls and recycled timber creates joinery adding warmth. Strong black detailing in the new areas create a distinctly modern contrast to the brickwork of the original building while linking to the industrial character.

Try Programa for free with a 7 day trial

Try Programa for free with a 7 day trial

Join the world’s best studios

Unveil the narrative of reinvention with Three Stories North, a captivating project by Splinter Society. Delve into the depths of its untraditional family home, which stands as a testament to embracing layered history.

Splinter Society's approach to design is a testament to their clients' vision – one that cherishes the industrial heritage beneath layers of renovations. Rather than erasing the past, the project embarks on a journey to realize the existing potential, preserving the essence of the original building.

At the heart of the design lies a meticulous process of reduction, allowing the character of the original structure to shine. From retained masonry construction to celebrated imperfections in brick walls, every detail speaks volumes of the building's rich history. Glazing delicately bridges the gap between old and new, while original features like arched doors and fireplaces are lovingly maintained.

Transformed from two separate townhouses, Three Stories North now boasts a unified space, connected by a central masonry wall that spans all three levels. Inspired by industrial fire stairs, a hanging staircase serves as both a functional element and a striking architectural feature.

The interior seamlessly blends expansive architectural spaces with cozy living areas, characterized by subtle textures and warm hues. Rough-sawn timber and recycled materials add depth and personality, while bold black accents provide a contemporary edge.

Step beyond the traditional exterior to discover a world of light and space within. A 3-storey glass facade floods the interiors with natural light, while a carefully crafted entry courtyard sets the stage for the journey ahead.

Experience the fusion of past and present at Three Stories North – a testament to Splinter Society's commitment to honoring history while embracing innovation.