One of the outstanding elements of contemporary architecture in Australia, as espoused by such luminaries as Robin Boyd, Harry Seidler and Peter McIntyre amongst others, is the idea that, as a response to its site, a house should follow the slope of the land on which it is sited. So that on a site with significant fall, a house would naturally, at some suitable point, incorporate steps, so the floor level of the house would change as the ground level changed, thus realigning the floor with the adjacent natural ground level, so that access to the outside could be more continuous, and houses would tend to “hug the ground“. This can be summarised by the expression “split level design”.
This became a tenet of contemporary design after WW11, along with low pitch roofs, cathedral ceilings and the famous Stegbar window wall, when Robin Boyd started the The Age Small Homes Service in Melbourne in 1946. Breaking the floor line in a house at a strategic point has become a main characteristic of cool, contemporary home design.
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