New living space
How does the project respond to its context, contribute to the public domain for example street or neighbourhood?
This project at the coastal village of Redhead (near Newcastle, NSW Australia) was on a large suburban block, that runs East to West, gently sloping to the rear. A small seventies project home existed on the site, orientated North – South, with poor environmental performance and minimal connection to the substantial yard. Towards the rear of the yard in the North-East corner are two large Norfolk Island pine trees.
What problems did you have to solve?
The strategic approach with the design was to convert the original living areas to main bedroom and facilities, then add a wing running towards the rear boundary, pushed to the Southern side of the yard. This wing opens completely to the grassed yard and houses kitchen, eating and living spaces and with large Northern sliding glass doors attracting good winter sunlight along it’s long side. Small openings are introduced into the Southern wall for ventilation. The garage, with access off a rear lane is the termination of this wing, and a roofed barbeque area is created in the gap between garage and house. The roof forms pitch up towards the North, to provide space for high level louvre windows, to encourage ventilation on hot days.
What was the contribution of others, including engineers, landscape architects, artists, builders and other specialists to the outcome?
The client has an interest in interior design and she selected all the materials and furnishings herself. We worked with the client on the garden, resolving hard and soft surfaces, the client then chose all planting species.
How would you describe the value of design in relation to the cost of the project?
The value of the design, is both within the original concept (striking a long thin line running along the south boundary) and then within the fine detailing (selection of materials and surfaces) so that at both scales, a considered approach is evident within the result.
What are some important sustainability aspects of the project?
Roof water is collected in tanks for re-use on site. Hoop pine plywood is used extensively both as a joinery material and a ceiling lining. Lighting throughout is LED low energy. Flooring is clear finished concrete. Timber cladding is Australian Hardwood, metal cladding is Custom Orb Colorbond.
What do you consider to be the benefits of the project for the client, users and the community?
The significant benefit of this project is that an existing house that didn't work all that well, has been recycled and transformed, without the destruction or removal of too much material. The large block of land has been fully occupied, in a private way that doesn not impact upon neighbours.