Text description provided by the architects. This is a house of concrete, designed for a concreter; and the material has been fully embraced with all its inherent strengths and flaws. We relinquished control over imperfections innate to the material, leaving surfaces untreated. Paired with natural hardwood, the house is elemental and raw, but nonetheless warm and welcoming as a home for this young family - the concreter, the artist, the child and two dogs.
The site, in the Torquay Sands estate, backs onto wetlands and golf course. It is tightly hemmed in on both sides by volume builder houses.c Dialogue with the street is initiated by an open carport and art studio above, inviting filtered views through battened screens into the private world beyond. A translucent screen veils the studio, glowing over the street at night when the artist is at work.
Attached to the brief was a potential for growth, requiring flexibility of space, and areas of privacy. The layout itself is simple - a procession of spaces, entered from the street via a portal in the concrete wall. A small and verdant courtyard is the starting point, an antechamber to the softer inner parts of the home. Upon entry, the house opens up into double height gallery, glazed on one side to reveal the plan which wraps around a large central courtyard.The over-scaled circulation spine anchors the plan, linking darker, more intimate bedroom spaces on one side with open living encircling the central courtyard, and loft-style master bedroom above.
Principles of passive thermal regulation are employed throughout the house, resulting in stable internal temperatures year round. Insulated hydronic infill slabs reduce heat loss into the ground during winter whilst cross-ventilation, deep eaves, and the concrete structure’s inherent thermal mass keep the house cool in summer. Roof gardens create a thermal blanket over the house, irrigated by a 10,000L subterranean tank beneath the north-facing courtyard. Materials used require little maintenance, and are purposed for longevity.