Text description provided by the architects. Thornbury House responds to the needs of a growing family to create a space that is both intimate and generous. The client required a renovation from the front of the house, which would extend to its rear to allow for new living areas and master bedroom, while maintaining as large a rear garden as possible.
The design of the project centred on the simultaneous accommodation of long-term visitors and spaces that allow for diverse activities. These priorities were guided by sustainability, cost-effectiveness and maintenance.
The main volumes comprise highly insulated, light-weight timber construction with limited steel elements. Cement sheet cladding to the upper storey’s exterior was chosen for its minimized maintenance utility, while Vic Ash timber veneer and cork compose the interior features.
In addition to insulated in-slab hydronic coils, glazing to the site’s north enhances the thermal mass of the ground floor slab through optimised sun penetration, which warms the living and dining areas. The upper floor provides an eave to the folded back glazing, negating the hot summer sun.
The double height of the living space makes use of stack ventilation through an operable highlight window that naturally draws hot air up and out, endorsing the space as one for entertaining. The ceiling fan is reversible, which helps push warm air down during the colder months, providing a sense of cosiness.
For this family, the kitchen is very much the heart of the home, and its location in the house highlights this. The kitchen’s planning took into consideration big cooking sessions, providing generous bench space and ample room for two or more people to cook at the same time. The bathrooms are designed to be mini retreats; sheltered and private with good natural light, and warmth offered by way of timber joinery.