Architects Consume have created U-shaped property program positioned in Canterbury, Australia. Known as Elm & Willow House, the project involved restoring the Edwardian residence and developing a u-shaped extension at the back. The concrete floor and roof slabs are supported above the ground to to stay away from damaging the roots of mature elm and willow trees on the website.
This project includes restoration and alteration to the existing Edwardian house, and the demolition and construction at the rear for a new addition. The transparency and openness of the new component is a deliberate counterpoint to the introverted Edwardian home with its dark central corridor. The two mature Elm and Willow became the constraints to the project. They informed the arrangement of our new addition, and with each other with passive solar orientation the outcome is a U-shaped program enclosing a north-facing courtyard. The structure is suspended over the ground to avoid damaging the important root zones of the two trees. The concrete floor and roof slabs are meticulously comprehensive, with significant input from our structural engineer, to appear and really feel light, floaty and airy, a dialectic partnership among weight and material. This good quality is enhanced by a skeletal structure of “skin and bones”, in which the non load-bearing glass sliding windows turn out to be a mere breathing skin among occupants and the outdoors globe.
Internal preparing strategies had been devoted to the spatial hierarchy, in an interplay of inner and outer, and sequence of spaces. The hyperlink in between the old and new is merged into the layering of spaces where inside and outdoors becomes a single – the transparency of the borders separating interior and exterior allows the eye to perceive other elements that produce the spatial order: fences, trees, stones, woods, clouds and borrowed landscape.
The addition has a passive ventilation system, whereby louver windows promote cross ventilation. The creating supplies specified are non-toxic and from renewable resources. The concrete structure provides thermal masses to the residence with the slabs additional insulated to minimise heat loss. All glazing are double-glazed to supply comfort to the interior, and the deciduous trees provide vital shading to the residence in the course of summer time. Energy and water-saving fittings have been used all through, and rain water is harvested for use in the gardens. A new carport with grid-connect solar power panels is in the style procedure.
It was a total of three years from the first meeting with the consumers to the day they moved back into the residence, throughout which the construction took 18 months, the client identified passions in designing his gardens and their first child was born. It is a house for enjoyment, living in landscape with the family, and appreciation of tranquillity, intimacy and sanctuary – which were our original brief.
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