Working around small sites and limited sunlight often involves creative concepts, but this one is really over the top, so to speak.

Andrew Maynard Architects (images by Nic Granleese) crafted an artificial hill to both separate and engage a backyard space, while lofting a living volume above it.

The result is a contiguous wrapping surface that can be occupied in all kinds of ways, engaging the sun above via the tilted interior box but also providing a mix of light and shade for the outside zones.

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The remarkable effect is one of openness despite suburban enclosure – a sense of playful, natural and rural elements revisited in controlled modern forms. Truly an outstanding piece for an otherwise-ordinary neighborhood of Melbourne, Australia.