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Local Heroes

Local Heroes

Photography Ben Hosking

The Australian Institute of Architects Awards celebrate the best residential, commercial and sustainable designs. We look at some of this year’s residential crowd-pleasers.

THEY'VE GOT IT COVERED

At the tip of New Farm peninsula in Brisbane is an elongated home made up of a series of two-storey pavilions and courtyards. Enclosing the areas and sealing them off from the elements is a shadecloth held off the structural cladding of the home to protect the rooms and outdoor spaces housed beneath. The cloth provides a certain level of security, as well as protection from the sun and insects. Simultaneously it allows the home to be naturally ventilated. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. James Russell Architect, jamesrussellarchitect.com.au; architecture.com.au.

STRIPPED BARE

Rather than demolishing a former Cadbury Fry Pascal warehouse and the one-time auction rooms for Lawson Menzies, Tanner Kibble Denton Architects chose to reuse the existing building fabric to build a contemporary apartment block in New South Wales. The architects left the concrete structure and masonry walls on show, preserving the building’s raw state. The walls are complete with scratches, dents, blemishes and cracks earned from years of wear and tear, maintaining the area’s unique history while incorporating an effortless rustic-urban feel to each space.  This project is in the running for an Australian Institute of Architects Award. Tanner Kibble Denton Architects (02) 9281 4399, (07) 3087 0160, tkda.com.au; architecture.com.au. 

MAKE A SPLASH

One of the easiest ways to style a room is by starting with the basics: use white to cover all the surfaces, then insert splashes of a statement colour to liven up the room. Drawing from mid-century modernism, Klopper and Davis Architects chose yellow to be this kitchen’s signature colour. The yellow walls and grooves of the kitchen cabinets create a linear composition that leads to matching furnishings and decor of the home, while the black decal of a man and his suitcase above the oven is a playful addition that reflects the client’s light-hearted persona. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Klopper and Davis Architects (08) 9381 4731, kada.com.au; architecture.com.au.

HOLEY APPEALING

Two sculptural ceiling cutouts act as a stunning visual feature while enhancing local views in this three-storey, northeast-facing home above Balmoral Beach in Sydney. Supported by a forest of tall columns beneath a flat, sinuous roof, the home is curved in overall shape, with the soft edges of the roof echoed by its internal walls. The cutouts allow light to penetrate the living quarters from morning through to night, while lighting, storage and services are seamlessly integrated into the curving walls. The cutout areas also present a heightened view of the surrounding landscape and the ocean horizon beyond. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Popov Bass Architects (02) 9955 5604, popovbass.com.au; architecture.com.au.

ABOVE TO BELOW

A canopy of tall karri trees acts as a natural shade from the summer sun for this home in Margaret River, which is fully constructed out of sustainably sourced timber. Positioned to unfold around the old, magnificent trees, the home captures the northern sun during winter perfectly. Main openings and external areas were designed in regard to the height and size of the canopies above, while opening up to two irregularly shaped courtyards, formed to embrace the trees and natural landscape. A matrix of hand-dug steel tripods raised the house off the ground, subsequently protecting the tree roots that lie underneath. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. MORQ 0418 481 397, morq.it; architecture.com.au.

THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS

Found in the middle of a multi-gabled timber facade is a courtyard offering veiled views of Tasmania’s Southern Ocean and beyond. The three gable roof forms translate into a range of small and private areas that all have individual relationships to the courtyard and its scenic views. The central, gravel-covered area allows for midday and afternoon sun to penetrate the rooms surrounding it, while providing residents with a sunny and wind-sheltered outdoor space. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows and doors allow for full panoramic views of Tasman Island and the Southern Ocean to be experienced from the main living space, courtyard and entrance of the home. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Room 11 (03) 9419 5575, room11.com.au; architecture.com.au. 

RAISE THE ROOF

The upward curving roof of this rural home has been designed in response to the rolling hills of the valley that lies below it. The gently curved roof echoes the shape of the valley, both on its exterior and inside, where the ceiling dips in the middle of the home. Along with its aesthetic function, the roof also helps to collect rainwater for use throughout the house, making it sustainable. Adding to its ecological design is the beautifully laid recycled stone salvaged from the area, as well as plantation timber on the home’s facade and primary structures. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Max Pritchard Architect (08) 8376 2314, maxpritchardarchitect.com.au. 

THE FRAME GAME

Robinson Architects decided to create a modern interpretation of an old wool shed with this fully sustainable home design. Combined with conventional materials such as block work and timber, the home’s structural frame was prefabricated and bolted into place by a local shed company, reducing time and cost of the build. The entire frame is steel, including the floor, where an open web-truss system was developed. The walls and roof are sheeted with thermally effective steel zincalume, while large sliding doors, eaves and operable windows keep the building cool. Three 26,000-litre tanks harvest rainwater for all the family’s water needs. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Robinson Architects (07) 5442 8566, robinsonarchitects.com.au; architecture.com.au. 

KEEP THE OPTIONS OPEN

Rather than creating barriers between street and home, this design encourages engagement with the home’s surroundings. Conceived as a patio, the main living area is operable on two sides, allowing residents to experience the outdoors from within an indoor setting. The flexible operation of external doors enables adaption to differing weather conditions, and allows maximised natural ventilation and connection to the landscape. A stark, unbroken white ceiling plane acts as a backdrop for dappled light from the canal and pool, opening the space up and blending it with the outside. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Matthew Eagle Architect 0415 773 267, mearchitect.com.au; architecture.com.au.

GETTING THE POINT

Running like a zigzag path through the forest, this holiday house in Nannup boasts an environmentally sustainable design thanks to its minimal material palette and use of recycled elements. The spaces of the home are strung together in a line, presenting oscillating vertical and horizontal openings to best capture the backdrop of native Australian trees and rolling hills. Floating on slender stilts, the home is accessed by grated steel ramps on either side of the main structure, made of 90 per cent treated plantation pine – mostly prefabricated to minimise building waste. The long roof form aids in capturing rainwater, which is reused in the house, while recycled jarrah and WA blackbutt line the interiors. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects (08) 9322 9750,
iredalepedersenhook.com; architecture.com.au.

A BRIDGED VERSION

An ode to early Californian modernists, this home incorporates understated colour schemes and large areas of glass in its design. This can be seen in the home’s glass hallway, which sits above a lap pool and joins the home’s two main living quarters together. The walkway plays on the notion of inside out, with half of its floor being blackbutt wood, and the other clear glass. The bright aqua pool water below pierces through the glass floor, creating a dramatic colour combination of brown, black and blue. The large windows also provide suitable lighting throughout the day, while lights run along the bottom of the hallway during the night. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. TT Architecture(02) 6232 6311, ttarchitecture.com.au; architecture.com.au. 

TUNNEL VISION

A long, silver structure sits atop a valley on a former apple farm in Tasmania, its cylindrical-shaped outer surface broken only by protruding glass windows and a door. The site required a home that would be able to handle the rough southerly winds of the region, so Misho + Associates designed a linear layout to combat this, with the home’s curved, galvanised metal roof allowing for wind to flow over it without causing internal turbulence. Large, thermally broken, double-glazed windows provide framed views of the valley below, while six tall Corten blades shelter the other side of the home. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Misho + Associates (03) 6264 2333, misho.com.au; architecture.com.au.

SWEEPING STATEMENT

Playing an influential part in the overall design of this home among the branches are the tall, established trees surrounding the block. The sweeping roof emulates the twists and kinks of the trees, creating a draped canopy to the living spaces, as well as opening the space up to both northern light and southern views. The Claremont valley and city skyline views are framed by timber screens, which further connect the home to its environment. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Klopper and Davis Architects (08) 9381 4731, kada.com.au; architecture.com.au.

WOOD LAND

Principally constructed from materials found in the local area, this home’s interior echoes that of its leafy surroundings. The roof and layout of the home emulates that of a tree canopy, coming together in a stack arrangement around a central stairway. The house is blinkered by fattened timber walls and sloping timber ceilings, with carefully selected areas stealing light from above through glass slits in the ceiling. Ventilation is enhanced in this area thanks to openable clerestory windows high up in the multi-level ceiling. Given the positioning and orientation of these windows, the home requires no air-conditioning. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Terroir (02) 9698 2198, (03) 6234 6372, terroir.com.au; architecture.com.au. 

POOL'S A RESOURCE

Blending into a beachside landscape, this Avalon Bay beach residence is designed by Banham Architects. The home is made up of a number of interlocking horizontal planes, with cantilevered roofs sheltering its balconies and terraces. The main attraction of this outdoors-encompassing home is its water feature, which reflects the home’s surrounding environment. It was originally conceived as a seawater aquarium, but finding this too hard to maintain, the owners decided to turn the aquarium into a rock pool, complete with sandstones and a man-made grotto. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Banham Architects (08) 9321 5588, banham.com.au; architecture.com.au.

THE WRITING'S ON THE WALL

A kitchen is considered to be the heart of the home, but it can also be a creative hub, too. Pendal and Neille Architects turned this kitchen into a play haven for artists and kids, by making its back wall a giant chalkboard – a place for messages, lists, schedules, murals and doodles. Blackboard paint was coated onto a metal sheet, which was then wrapped over MDF fixed wall panels. The resulting board injects a sense of fun and reckless abandonment into the room. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Pendal and Neille Architects (08) 9388 3349, pendalandneille.com; architecture.com.au.

SUNKEN TREASURE

This bathroom was created to specifically cater for its Japanese client’s daily bathing ritual. The bath is sunk into a teak timber platform that sits raised off the floor to heighten the experience of bathing. The view from the sunken bathtub is perfectly framed thanks to large glass doors that open for ease of ventilation. The use of sustainably grown timbers for cladding and screening contributes to solar protection while creating privacy and shelter from wind. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Tanner Kibble Denton Architects (02) 9281 4399, tkda.com.au; architecture.com.au.

SHIP TO SHORE

The Beach Box uses three shipping containers as its building blocks, positioned at splayed angles and separated with linking decks and an internal sitting area. Fast and cost-effective to erect, the front has full-height glazing, while the exterior boasts hardwood timber cladding fins, plywood-lined roofs over the decking, and sleek white alpolic awnings. Inside, the floor features recycled traditional Chinese painted door timbers, with whitewashed plywood ceilings. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. OGE Group Architects (07) 5444 8883, ogegroup.com.au; architecture.com.au.

INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

Nearly 3000 dry-pressed bricks make up the feature wall of this open-plan kitchen in Ipswich, Queensland. The visual drawcard acts as the structural spine of the home separating the kitchen, living area and alfresco from the owners’ private rooms, and embraces passive design principles by harnessing the bricks’ high thermal properties to naturally heat and cool the house. Its rustic appeal is carried through the kitchen thanks to the exposed timber rafters that the wall supports. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Aardvarc (07) 3844 4009, aardvarc.com.au; architecture.com.au.

ALL WHITE NOW

A sculptural white wall flows from the entrance of this house through to the courtyard and forms a backdrop for the swimming pool, which wraps around the side of the home. Recessed into this wall is an outdoor kitchen, lined with golden plywood to contrast the crisp white of the walls. Dramatically cantilevering over the end of the pool is a master bedroom and ensuite. Outdoor living is encouraged with the pool, kitchen and inclusion of high, operable louvres, which help create flexible outdoor spaces and options for shading the living area. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Max Pritchard Architect (08) 8376 2314, maxpritchardarchitect.com.au. 

 

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