Kitchener road, melville 

The clients for this project wanted one thing from the outset. This was to be their dream home to retire into and it had to fit their brief. A brief that collided Californian Case Study bungalow with its sleek lines, low slung roofs and floor to ceiling glazing; with a modern eclecticism of recycled materials, textures and industrial chic.

The site is a rear lot in a battleaxe subdivision which was also completed by Arklen.

The house is compact at 160m2 but has been designed to cater for optimal site orientation and function. The brief called for 2x bedrooms with an additional guest bedroom for visitors to be used infrequently, but whom could stay for considerable periods of time. It also required a music studio where the clients can run their music lessons from home, but without the strain of having students come through the main house to sit and wait for their lessons; and most importantly the main requirement was a large living space where they can entertain, cook and party with the footy on.

The response is a clever pinwheel plan, with all of the living and sleeping areas opening onto a central north facing courtyard with a small concrete pool. The main bedroom wing flanks the courtyard to the east with full height high performance glazing providing uninterrupted views of the garden whilst capturing the westerly sea breeze. The living area is a large 6x10m long room oriented to the north with floor to ceiling 4m wide glass sliding doors to bring the courtyard right into the house. This is the heart of the house, and a large deck extends the full length of the living area out to meet the pool.

The guest bedroom is detached from the main house and sits opposite the main bedroom wing on the west with a large span cantilevered roof connecting it back to the living area, which creates a sheltered alfresco bbq area out on the deck.

The plan is about careful consideration of function and orientation to ensure breezes are captured, the sun is kept out in summer but welcomed deep into the house in winter and to ensure all living spaces are bathed in northern light.

Floors are polished concrete and the western and northern walls are reverse brick veneer construction to take advantage of thermal mass, whilst the remainder of the house is heavily insulated timber framed wall and roof with aluminium framed high performance glazed doors and windows. The clean sleek lines and finishes are offset with the internal finishes including recycled bricks set into the polished concrete slab, recycled timber cladding, industrial light pendants and cabinetwork constructed from black faced form ply.

The house received a 6.1 NatHERS rating and has a 74% saving on Co2 when compared to a standard benchmark home.