The design program for a home in Victoria for an active retired couple was based on an urban location, compact plan, expressive use of natural light, and the definition of exterior space by means of two small ancillary buildings. Wood was the natural choice for construction, combining ease of fabrication and seismic performance. A major determinant for the use of wood was CLT panels for the roof structure in all buildings, providing an attractive and natural interior finish, high thermal performance, and thin edge conditions. For the underside of all panels, including interior ceilings and soffits, select spruce was chosen for its color and texture, finished with a clear sealer. Wood was selected for the floor, with a high performance laminated oak. Cabinets throughout the house were faced with clear edge grain fir, also with a clear finish. Aluminum clad high performance wood windows and doors were incorporated into the design. Custom wood sliding screens
Design: the clients’ program incorporated a compact open plan design, with. Originally intended to be on one level, zoning restriction dictated a partial upper floor. The stair became a feature in the core of the house, linking both floors and the active and passive areas on the main floor. Overheight ceilings in the active area enhance this link, and provide a sense of space and light. Sliding screens define the open plan concept, providing visual privacy when desired.
The three components of the design: house, garage, and studio, form a defined exterior private space, encouraging a strong link to the exterior while providing privacy and service spaces. The garage provides for a small greenhouse, workshop and bicycle storage, while the studio is a refuge, for art and contemplation.