Palmerstown Road

This is a house for a growing family, a project that is a cumulation of thoughts about materiality that has evolved over a number of years in a true collaboration with the owners who’s 3 storey Victorian house was a blank canvas – the partnership involved the two owners – one the builder and the other the client – and a series of robust debates with their architect.

The idea relates to two volumes that sit back to back. They touch at their intersection but don’t engage directly. The concrete volume draws in the sky, the timber volume cuts in to the ground. The concrete has the imprint of the timber, like a memory of an earlier version of the design – appropriate for a scheme that developed as a concept over ten years.

The interests were in board-marked concrete and the experimentation of relief, surface and lining, and in timber for both the concrete formwork and the kitchen lining. The garden room is a board-marked concrete cube with a double-height funnel bringing in the light. The ply-lined kitchen is made as a three dimensional lattice work with ceiling fins that thread the space together and full height doors; the warm light held in the carapace and reflecting from the sheen of the plywood. The spaces are linked with a concrete floor, and other smaller interventions thread the ideas through the house as a whole. The project continues in the garden as the family learn how each space works best for work, play, entertainment and entertaining depending on the time of year and the way the light falls.