Small Courtyard v Big Courtyard
This home is for a young family on a green-acre site near the banks of the Moorabool River. Conceptually the house is defined by two very different courtyard conditions. A wide, open courtyard creates a shielded outdoor space for gathering and play. Internally, a micro courtyard forms a vase-like capsule for a small garden – a protected green-space in a building otherwise highly exposed within the landscape.
The street-facing facade appears as an austere wall, broken by sections of full height glazing. A large living volume beyond is expressed by an elevated section of roof. Entry to the residence is articulated by a projecting concrete panel and a series of black portal frames. An arrival space or “vestibule” near the courtyard garden creates a sense of transition before entering the house proper.
The Common Veranda
On the north façade, the main body of the building is framed by a continuous deck and awning structure. Cantilevered above full height glazing, this awning has been carefully sized to optimise northern light throughout the year. On warmer days, this long veranda allows the kids to loop between the pool and the rumpus room.
The clients background in commercial building meant that from the very early stages of design, there was ongoing collaboration on an appropriate construction methodology. Precast concrete, a prefabricated roof and modular glazing make up the outer shell of the building. Concrete panels have been limited to pure rectangles to streamline fabrication (no openings or L-shapes). An economic structural shell meant that a higher level of craft could be applied to other bespoke details.
The position of the house on the site was a key consideration. Aligning the long edge of the house with the contours of the land anchors the building to the landscape and captures views to the river. Rotating the house off-axis to the road network opens up the entry to the street corner, amplifying a sense of arrival upon approach.
This project is currently under construction.