The family commissioning this house had lived on the site for many years and after a short-lived move to a much larger house and garden in a nearby street concluded that they felt very connected to their old street and its people. The existing house couldn’t cope with their large family of seven and an investigation of alterations and additions to the existing house led them to the conclusion that a new house was required.
The brief then was a house to comfortably accommodate seven people in a highly sustainable building. We were also asked to be considerate of the neighbours who were very attached to the Edwardian character of the street. Our investigations revealed that a salient characteristic of the Edwardian garden suburb was rooves and chimneys emerging from lush tree canopies.
In finding a workable model we looked to the Arts and Crafts movement and it’s proto-modernist philosophies as a way to satisfy our brief requirements and our own compulsion to modernity. Many of our architectural interests aligned with the ideas and aesthetics of the Arts and Crafts movement: expressive function, picturesque planning, and the exposition of the crafts of building.
The conceptual basis of the house is strongly evident in the fabric of the building. Substantial, textural, durable, low maintenance materials and surfaces – all selected for their ability to age in place, to ensure that the house improves with age, that it celebrates patina, that the materials reach their aesthetic potential through wear and time.
Our own interest in Sustainability was pushed by a Client with a passionate interest in this area resulting in an extensive implementation of both passive and active sustainability measures.
There is also whimsy, joy and beauty in this house: the formally expressive chimneys with their hand made pots, the fragrant cedar lined pyramid of the main living area, the heft and shadow of the brick and concrete rear pavilion, the intense colour and texture of the interior surfaces – all contribute to a house which is so much more than the sum of its parts.