This house exemplifies how the challenge of planning constraints can enhance the creative design process. The result is a building that integrates harmoniously with the landscape.
Height and volume and a sense of spaciousness were desired in a house for a family of four. The house had to fit in guest quarters, study areas, a piano room, off-street concealed parking. And a central meeting and entertaining space had to be something special.
The conceptual framework for this project was one of house as landscape. MCK Architects set out to design a house that would make use of the topography and where activities and functions were acted out on a terrain that flowed, folded and hinged between the various levels and spaces of the house. The roof to the lower ground garage is covered with turf and a garden extends from the children’s bedrooms, and continues down to lower gardens and undercroft play areas that double as parking spaces.
A circuit of movement has been created throughout the house, flowing internally and externally, vertically and horizontally, creating a dynamic effect to the plan. The architects used a philosophy of allowing forms to be determined by the forces of the site, context client and authorities. An approach was set early in the design process to see what the council control plans would create if allowed. Envelope controls determined the form and outline with view corridors determining steps and cutouts in roof and wall forms. Context and heritage character statements determined finishes and detail.
The landscape architects and structural engineers were extremely important in the design development and resolution of the concept. Beyond this, the key figures in its delivery were the members of the construction team. A marriage of builder and architect delivered a unique bespoke house to a very patient and respectful client.
A palette of materials for the exterior of the house was chosen to reflect the surrounding heritage context. Traditional materials such as dark face brickwork, timber shakes, slate tiles and copper sheeting would become like skin covering the internal functional spacesof the new home. This approach has also provided a public and cultural benefit that enriches the streetscape and surrounds. This in turn determined much of the interior finishes with face brick and timber cladding folding into the inside of the house, reinforcing the seamless nature of the design and the intention to blur boundaries between inside and out.
Sustainability and cost effectiveness were integral and fundamental to the design. Passive solar ESD principles were employed with best siting and orientation employed. The concrete base provided thermal mass. All water from the large roofs was harvested and re-used for irrigation, solar pool heating and hydronic floor heating were also incorporated and large operable windows and doors provided the interior with good cross ventilation.
• 2011 AIA NSW Chapter - Wilkinson Award for Excellence in Residential Building
• Shortlisted – 2011 AIA Robin Boyd Award
• Finalist - Houses Awards - New House over 200sqm
SUMMARY OF ACHIEVEMENTS
Sustainability and cost effectiveness were integral and fundamental to the design. Passive solar ecologically sustainable development (ESD) principles were employed, along with best siting and orientation. The concrete base provided thermal mass. All water from the large roofs was harvested and re-used for irrigation. Solar pool heating and hydronic floor heating were also incorporated, and large operable windows and doors provided the interior with good cross-ventilation.
AUSTRAL BRICKS, BOWRAL BLUE FACE BRICK
FC SHEETING LINING
IRONWOOD, RECYCLED BLACKBUTT TIMBER
DYNAMIC ROOFING, BLOODWOOD TIMBER SHAKES
DYNAMIC ROOFING, NATURAL FINISH COPPER SHEETING
DYNAMIC ROOFING, SPANISH SLATE TILES
DYNAMIC ROOFING, NATURAL FINISH COPPER
GIBBON GROUP, TRETFORD DOUBLE CREAM CARPET
C&A CONCRETE, OFF-WHITE GANOLITHIC TOPPING CONCRETE
ALSPEC, ALUMINIUM SLIDING DOORS
LIDCO - ALUMINIUM WINDOWS AND DOORS, SLIDING WINDOWS AND CASEMENT WINDOWS
ANEETA WINDOWS, SASHLESS WINDOWS
TIMBER SOLID CORE DOORS
G JAMES, CLEAR LOW-E GLAZING
HURLCON HYDRONIC HEATING, IN-SLAB HEATING
IRONWOOD, BOILER UNIT
EUROLUCE LIGHTING AUSTRALIA
EUROMARBLE, LIMESTONE & ONYX STONE BENCH-TOPS
LEN WALLIS AUDIO
FITTINGS & FIXTURES
ROGERSELLER, BATHROOM TAPWARE
REECE HVAC, POZZI GINORI TOILETS
CANDANA, VILLEROY & BOCH BATHTUB
DEDECE, VOLA FITTINGS
ROYALET AUSTRALIA, ELECTRIC BIDET
PITELLA AND MADINOZ, DOOR HARDARE
DEDECE, HALLIDAY BAILLIE DOOR HARDWARE