Text description provided by the architects. Once occupied by a dilapidated dwelling, this new residence explores how contemporary, sustainable architecture can rest peacefully with heritage neighbours. The split-level residence follows the natural topography of the site and leads one along a continuous walkway of recycled timber before opening to the double height northern living zone. This central spine through the linear pavilion also links the internal and external spaces through a system of pivoting, sliding and louvered screens.
A central courtyard allows the house to breathe and provides varying degrees of openness and intimacy, light and fresh air. Sustainable living solutions include double glazed windows with Argon gas, rain water harvested into a series of underground tanks, grey water is reused for irrigation while recycled timber and low voc coatings are used extensively.
The overt expression of the recycled timber structural system, forms a refined portal frame that is expressed both internally and externally. Inspired by traditional heritage houses of the region, a balance of materials including masonry and a lightweight skin of timber weatherboards were incorporated. This all contributed to a finely crafted design response, providing a sense of honesty in structure and materials and ultimately, serenity in the urban landscape.
The project was a shortlisted finalist in the recent Australian Institute of Architects awards program and won a High Commendation at the Australian Timber Design awards. It was also recently selected for the prestigious 2010 Robin Boyd Foundation Open Day: ‘Designed For Our Time’.