COLORBOND® Award for Steel Architecture: Office MI—JI

AB House by architect Office MI-JI

BlueScope warmly congratulates Office MI—JI who won the COLORBOND® Award for Steel Architecture at the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) 2023 National Architecture Awards, for AB House in Barwon Heads. The project also took out several awards at the AIA 2023 Victorian Architecture Awards.

Established in Melbourne, Office MI—JI evolved through experiences in London and Chicago. They work across all aspects of architecture and are driven by a simple ethos: "Do good work." Their approach is grounded in establishing meaningful connections between their designs, their surroundings and their clients.

Dedicated to crafting understated yet impactful architecture, Office MI—JI derives inspiration from the often overlooked. Their commitment lies in creating spaces that resonate authentically through thoughtful design and careful execution.

AB House exemplifies Office MI—JI’s commitment to architectural finesse. It blends functionality and aesthetics with a captivating charm. This distinctive second home, on a typical suburban Barwon Heads house block, is elevated off the ground by fifty-two galvanised steel posts to mitigate a potential flood risk. The posts not only responded to the flood overlay and supported the house, but minimised its impact on the site, lending a conspicuous lightness to the overall structure.

According to Jimmy Carter, co-founder of Office MI—JI, “the steel posts established the inside boundary and arose from the ground in the form of an indented rectangle. It showcases our approach of finding innovative solutions for everyday challenges.”

Embracing the principles of simplicity and functionality, AB House is organised into zones of constant and temporary use, ensuring efficiency and comfort as the family’s needs change over the course of a year. At the front of the house is the dining room, living area, kitchen, study, and bedroom with an ensuite for the owners. The practical amenities such as a laundry and powder room are in the middle. Meanwhile, the rear section features two bedrooms with ensuites and a sitting room for guests.

For Jimmy, the selection of materials was driven by a desire to utilise a range of corrugated products - from fibreglass sheeting in ‘Super Six’ profile (Ampelite) on the ground level walls and a regular corrugated profile (Ampelite) in the courtyard, to a small corrugated profile made from GALVABOND® steel (Deep Ripple by Ripple Iron*) on the level 01 walls, each choice serving a purpose.

“This approach is not just about aesthetics; it provided each part of the house with a cladding that corresponded to their different needs. The benefits of using corrugated profiles also include versatility and speed of erection,” says Jimmy.

To complement these carefully chosen materials, LYSAGHT KLIP-LOK 700 HI-STRENGTH® made from ZINCALUME® steel and COLORBOND® Ultra steel in the colour Surfmist® was used on the roofs.

“We’re thrilled to have won this award as not only does it recognise our hard work and dedication to very Australian material processes, but also the contribution and support of David Webb Building Solutions and our suppliers. We’re especially grateful to Jennifer Hall at Ripple Iron*, without whom this project wouldn’t have been the same.” - Jimmy Carter.

AB House stands as a testament to Office MI—JI's unwavering dedication to crafting spaces that not only inspire but also enrich the lives of those who inhabit them. With its thoughtful design and meticulous execution, it represents a harmonious blend of form, function, and purpose.

*The Directors of Ripple Iron have retired, and the business is now closed.



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