Skewed House


The client, having bought a luscious semi-rural block came with a brief to design a family house. The house was to have a strong connection to outdoor living and play areas, with a priority on a relaxed lifestyle.
A previous residence, now demolished was however well located on the block. With its raised access to the south from the adjoining road, and slight cut into the hillside to the east. It provided for a northerly orientation with a slight skew down to the west. The views, other than to the south are heavily tree’d with tall eucalyptus and only a hint of distant neighbours.

Although a single storey design was explored, the extensive vegetation on the block and utilising the existing site cut required a two storey solution.
A textured face brick blade wall extends across much of the face of the house, partially concealing the living areas and entry from view and road noise. Upon entry, a slightly enclosed transition with views across the pool to the boundary trees is revealed.

Inside a generous vestibule allows for selection of destinations. Ahead is the garden, step down to the left is the parents living areas, up the stairs are the secondary bedrooms and activity room, to the right the fulcrum of the house, the main living space. With its kitchen, dining and living room, access to the garage and amenities, this space opens up, both in its width and height towards the garden and sky to the north. An extended eave is employed to provide refuge and diffused sun light during the height of summer. From this space access to the garden, a covered BBQ and dining terrace with views over the swimming pool and tennis court is provided. A second blade wall, behind which the detritus of the house equipment is hidden, lies a service yard between the garage and the workshop.

Simple brick veneer construction has been employed to the ground floor, with just a mixture of face and painted bagged brick to ground the house in its natural bush setting. Vertical ship lap timber with a clear seal that will weather and grey over time covers the second storey box. A pattern in the north facing windows creates interest whilst providing views and privacy where required.
Overall an unassuming and quiet house, it should sit comfortably in its setting and provide the private and secure oasis its owners envisaged.