The old cowshed in Glebe, New South Wales, Australia has been designed by Carter Williamson Architects. The home was a surprising find; a rare opportunity to preserve some of the character and charm of this eclectic neighborhood and one the architects encouraged for their clients to seize when they sought their advice on purchasing the property. The cowshed sat on a small parcel of land bounded on three sides by roads. The building was simple, essentially a long brick wall that held the urban edge of corner and street and returned to house a few bedrooms in the place of the former stalls.
It was the most basic of accommodation but the shed had a worn patina of stories and was well situated, hugging the southern boundary with provision for a private, north facing courtyard. The clients share a vision for gregarious family life which is reflected in their home. The spaces are truly ‘open plan’, each room connected to the others and to the sunny, green courtyard that acts as a natural extension of the living spaces.
The plan of the house was kept largely as it was with the kitchen to the street corner, hidden behind the strong brick envelope and spilling over into the dining and living rooms. The kids’ bedrooms, replete with requisite hammocks, were tucked into the return of the L-shaped plan with a vivid red bathroom at the pivot, a nod to our client’s proud Venezuelan heritage.
By expanding the width of the building from three to four metres and locating the bedroom mezzanine above the kitchen, the urban edge of the street was held by a tall forward element much like the bald face shop fronts at the end of a row of terraces; a good urban response which marks corner buildings as distinctive landmarks in an urban streetscape.
The cowshed sits under a big jacaranda tree whose leaves and blooms blocked the valley gutters and flooded the existing house when it rained. In response, a long steep roof plane was pulled up and over the second storey bedroom and tucked down at the rear of the site, designed to prevent accumulating organic matter and giving the building it’s distinctive profile.
A ribbon of high clerestory windows that capture light and breeze, wrap the building and climb upwards with the roofline allowing the home to feel bright but private, despite it’s dense urban context.
Wherever possible the existing building fabric of the original cowshed was preserved, but sadly much was structurally unsound. What was rebuilt carries the spirit of the cowshed, composed from a palette of simple, robust materials that simultaneously address the restraints of the tight budget; concrete slabs were polished as flooring, recycled bricks left as face for the internal walls and the timber structure exposed. Oiled timber doors and windows and corrugated cladding hint at the Australian pastural vernacular now all but forgotten in this rapidly gentrifying neighborhood.
Photos: Brett Boardman
House in a Warehouse is a new dwelling in an old warehouse shell designed to be a garden oasis by Splinter Society Architecture in Hawthorn East, Victoria, Australia. The ‘interior’, a considered reassembly of parts from the site, extends beyond the new infill skin, to the periphery of the existing warehouse walls, inviting the outside in. From the architects, ” Both architect and client strongly believe in compact urbanism, combined with green spaces and a sustainable approach to living, as part of a happier way of life. The client brief asked for a highly sustainably house, executed in a clean and contemporary way and a ‘warehouse feel’, minus the cliches of industrial off-the-shelf purchases.
The strategy to meet the brief and concept involved creating a layered system of screens and frames that split the site and lift the living spaces of the house, creating views to green spaces and established gardens beyond. The site was a 200 square meters landlocked warehouse, built to all boundaries and entered via a new residential development. It’s a dense inner urban setting, where the design solution allows the notion of ‘interior’ to extend beyond the infill, to the periphery of the warehouse walls, inviting the outside in.”
The ‘interior’, a considered reassembly of parts from the existing warehouse, creates an aesthetic of texture and warmth referencing the property’s historical context. The resultant budget conscious house is open, spacious; light filled and a pleasure to be in. The resultant budget conscious house is open, spacious; light filled and a pleasure to be in.
Photos: Tom Ross of Brilliant Creek
This stunning beachside hideaway has been masterfully crafted from the vision of architect Andrew Burges in North Bondi, a coastal, eastern suburb of Sydney, Australia. The incredibly chic home features cutting edge style complimented by the utmost functionality and comfort. Seamless design between indoor and outdoor, all windows and doors purposefully slide to maximize sunlight, a coastal breeze and natural surroundings. Staying true to its beachside address, the contemporary home has been thoughtfully designed using warm timber finishes and natural hues to keep in tune with the laid back Bondi lifestyle.
Features of the home includes lavish living and dining with soaring ceilings and natural flow to outdoor living. Deluxe integrated kitchen with high end appliances, four bedrooms with custom built-in wardrobes, oversized sliding windows and three with built-in desks. The master suite includes an en-suite bath, there are also two additional bathrooms. Private utdoor entertainer’s deck with roof with built in seating and BBQ. Low maintenance native garden with twilight lighting, underground rain water tank. Lock up garage with flow to studio/home office; additional driveway parking for 2nd car.
This stunning property is listed for sale from here.
This stunning Kerr Street Residence is situated in Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia. The property is comprised of one warehouse, two titles and two houses to be sold as one. Each residence features three bedrooms, two bathrooms, an open living room with great northerly light and its own unique character with balconies, roof deck, garden and like some twins one is a lot bigger than the other. Live in one, rent the other, kids in one, you in the other, work in one, live in the other or rent them both; the choice is yours. In addition there is room for up to five cars. You can’t get away from the fact that this is a never to be repeated chance to purchase a converted warehouse hidden within plain sight in the heart of Fitzroy.
This incredible property is listed for sale from here.
This stunning warehouse has been converted into a spacious pad with flowing living spaces, excellent natural light and a versatile entertainers’ layout in Annandale, a suburb of Sydney, Australia. The impressive residence makes a very private retreat within a peaceful community. The interiors flow over multiple levels with 4,305 square feet (400 square meters) of living space. The home features soaring ceilings, exposed beams and brick flooring. Living spaces includes a large open plan living area plus separate formal lounge, deluxe chef’s kitchen with commercial grade cool room, upstairs master suite with walk-in wardrobe and luxury en-suite, two additional bedrooms and bathroom as well as a sunlit courtyard garden with plenty of space for entertaining.
This incredible home is listed for sale at $2,000,000, from here.
This truly unique family home in Kew, Victoria, Australia, spotted on Real Estate AU, has been designed with breathtaking proportions, offering relaxed family living over five split-levels, tailored for seamless zoned family living and entertaining. Set on a substantial landscaped L-shaped block on one of Melbourne’s finest streets in the coveted Boroondara Sackville ward, the understated modern exterior hides a home of impressive scale and livability.
Inside this magnificent six-bedroom home features all white interiors with vaulted ceilings, exposed beams, polished concrete floors and large windows filling the inside with natural light. Full-height glazed doors open from most rooms to the garden. The entrance level features a north-facing living room and guest bedroom/home office with en-suite bathroom and separate external entrance. Ground level includes a generous dining area, a superb Euro stainless steel hostess kitchen with a long island bench, Butlers Pantry adjacent, two additional bedrooms, bathrooms, laundry and gymnasium alcove opening to the garden. A magnificent lower level includes a study and basement games room or theater. Upstairs rooms include main bedroom with en-suite bath plus two additional bedrooms, a family bathroom, upper level family retreat and studio.
The outdoor landscape features an impressive established garden set on 920 square meters with extensive decking, paving, built in BBQ and large gas/solar heated in-ground pool with spa combine to offer the perfect outdoor lifestyle and the in-ground trampoline and skate ramp further enhance this dream playground.
House Vaucluse is situated on a narrow site with waterfront at one short end and parkland along the long northerly side of Double Bay, Australia. Designed by Bruce Stafford Architects, the prime design generator was to frame the various view opportunities from the moment one arrived off the street, by creating a range of different spaces, all connected to a central vertical and horizontal circulation spine on the long axis of the site. This resulted in a series of courtyards and volumetric experiences until arriving at the edge of the infinity pool.
The courtyard and double volume living area allow other spaces to ‘borrow’ views by looking through them. The use of natural, textural finishes was core to the design brief, the clients wanting a warm, earthy aesthetic. Rich stone elements such as backlit Onyx and dry stacked quartz stone walls provide highlights in the material palette.
Photos: Karl Beath
The Bridge House is comprised of 1,184 square feet of living space, suspended above a creek in Adelaide, Australia, designed by Max Pritchard Architect. The clients requested a permanent home with an office on their small property, which would “touch the earth lightly.” An idyllic site, a bend in the winter creek that divides the property, creates a billabong (a deep waterhole) bounded by a high rocky bank. A house was required that would allow appreciation of the site without spoiling its beauty, but at a budget comparable with a “prefabricated” dwelling or an “off the plan” developers design.
The design solution is a narrow bridge like structure spanning the creek with glazing on either side which provides the experience of living amongst the trees in an almost untouched beautiful setting. Winter sun through the north facing windows heats the black concrete floor for reradiaiton at night. A wood combustion heater supplements the natural passive heating. Double glazing to the living area helps retain the heat. Perforated steel louvres shade the north windows in summer. The narrow plan form allows cross ventilation and is combined with ceiling fans to provide sufficient cooling for summer comfort. Solar hot water heating and photovoltaic cells positioned on the garage roof compliment the sustainable character of the house.
Coolum Bays Beach House was designed by Aboda Design Group for a family with three children nearing or at adulthood, taking advantage of the amazing potential for white water views in Queensland, Australia. The client wished to create a home with a refined, clean lined, modern but informal home with dramatic street presence. The home was to cater to the family’s independence for their differing lifestyle patterns, yet create a base for them to come together.
Images of modernist style building examples were shown, which included strongly articulated external form and bold use of materials for both the home and surrounding landscape. The home was to harness the best of laidback and unpretentious living in Coolum but at the same time being testament to the life’s efforts of the clients and the exceptional skills of their building team.
Is there any element of the project you wish to highlight specifically?
The difficult site constraints formed the basis for the drama of the design, considerations included – topographical constraints (very steep site), height limit limitations including side setback challenges (relatively narrow site for inclusion of side driveway and below-house parking, at ninety degrees to the driveway, all within 17M overall width) + steep cross fall, driveway location and gradient (1 in 4 maximum allowable , solar orientation, sub terrainean rock as close as 300 mm below surface, maximum projection/ cantilever to secure vistas.
The projection of the building, cantilevering out towards the ocean, was determined by the minimum distance eastwards (down the site) to obtain unobstructed northern views to Noosa Heads and around to the south east with views of the Coolum Bays.
Describe the style and theme of the design, or talk about the philosophy behind the home.
The arrangement of the home was determined by the complexity of the site. From the start this determined the location of the driveway, the driveway gradient and below-house car parking. Once resolved, the house was then arranged above as a series of cascading half-levels, which would achieve vistas front to back, and connect all living spaces via a single flight of steps.
The suspended concrete construction enabled large span floor plates, cantilevered floors and the use of raking and upturned beams, which in turn became critical elements in the final external composition. The use of structural steel in the roofs again enabled dramatic projection of the main roof out and over the pool and deck, maintaining excellent weather cover and also views uninterrupted by the intrusion of building structure.
What materials were used and where? How are these suited to the location?
The client requested clean, simple, durable, generally low maintenance materials due to the exposure to the coastal weather, which is destructive, particularly from the south east. Materials selected included fibre cement cladding, polymer rendered blockwork, sealed off-form concrete, aluminium and polycarbonate feature awning, steel roofing, aluminium windows, feature tiled walls, cedar battens screens, with hardwood decking, hardwood flooring and porcelain tiles internally.
The unfinished concrete, stone and wire gabions, textured tile wall cladding and rough sawn timbers were selected as they were in keeping with the exposed, raw nature of the site and for their strong contrast to the refined finish of the crisp white render, aluminum and glass.
Does the home feature any notable sustainable elements or products designed to reduce environmental impact or cost?
Highly operable windows (large format multistacking doors, louvres, gas strut awnings) and their placement achieve year round cross flow ventilation, negating the need generally for air conditioning (Master Bedroom only).
Concrete slabs and feature concrete walls increase thermal mass, maintaining warmth in the house through winter. Heat is excluded in summer and retained in Winter via above-compliance foil type insulation throughout.
Sun control devices (large overhangs, operable blades, cedar batten screens) all control solar heat gain whilst maintaining views and ventilation. Low energy LEDs are used almost exclusively throughout the home.
Rainwater is harvested from rooftops and stored in a 22KL rainwater tank constructed below the pool and used throughout the home. Photovoltaic array and heat pump water heaters installed.
Are there any other comments you’d like to make about the project?
The challenges of the site, combined with the boundless enthusiasm for the project from the clients, and the known competence, commitment and skill of the clients and their team acting also as builder created an amazing opportunity to work unwaveringly together to realize an adventurous but very comfortable home, to the delight of the designers, the clients and their family.
Photos: Paul Smith Images
The Pacific Road House is a beautiful cottage situated in Sydney, Australia, designed by Tanner Kibble Denton Architects. The owner sought to create a family compound to bring an extended family together for weekends and holiday retreats. The original sandstone cottage on site was to be renewed and extended to include contemporary facilities with a new pavilion added amongst the ancient angophoras to accommodate adult children and their growing families. Privacy was paramount and communal private outdoor space needed to be provided for family life whilst maximizing the access to the wonderful northern views along Palm Beach to Barrenjoey Head.
The site offered wonderful inspiration for the development of the approach taken to realize the project. Being somewhat rare for Palm Beach, given it is relatively flat; the site is blessed with a stand of mature angophoras. A strong desire from all parties to retain all trees dictated a more restricted site within the larger plot. Out of this restriction a curved-ended form for the pavilion developed, along with a sinuous covered walkway link that weaves between the trees, its form related to their curves.
The separation of the new pavilion from the existing cottage allowed a certain freedom in the design. Here the opportunity was taken to install a solid curved timber form that one views through the trees, capped with a floating roof to give the building a transparency at canopy level. This roof feathers at the edges, lightening the form yet providing a strong juxtaposition between built and natural elements.
The striking form of the new pavilion, its crisp roof and airy covered walkway are key elements in this design. The way in which the form has been made and linked to the existing cottage provides dynamic light filled interior and exterior spaces, and that much sought after secure private space at the heart of the site. Key to the success of the project is the walkway and associated earth rendered walls, which defines the private realm and provides the owners with a wonderful way to occupy this site.
The new forms are clad in vertical Western Red Cedar boards that have been UV stabilized and will be left to grey off to the same color as the surrounding tree trunks. Sandstone from the site is used extensively in walls, with earth rendered walls employed as linking elements. The use of these materials on curved walls allows the material to read in varying light, enriching the composition.
Photos: Michael Nicholson