Five Yards House
Bathed in the landscape

 

Five Yards House
Bathed in the landscape

 
  • Location: Hobart, Tasmania
  • Builder: Building Edge
  • Construction: SIPS / Panel
  • Project Cost: Undisclosed
  • Size: 100m2
  • Completed: 2015
  • Photography: Adam Gibson
  • Awards:
    Tasmanian Architecture Award

Our client, Carmel, mentioned her passion for gardening, so we designed a house where the garden articulates the house and the house articulates the garden.

The initial challenge posed by this site was its lack of aspect. Houses in Tasmania often have views of the ocean or a mountain. So we kept asking ourselves, how do you produce a quality architectural outcome without the benefit of either?

Our solution: the contrast between the single-storey home’s black-finished exterior and the evolving lushness of the garden. The black powder-coated aluminium window frames and glazing, hold the space and bring the outside in. The resulting views are vignettes of an expansive garden, with each room connecting with an outside courtyard, making the interior seem considerably bigger than it actually is.

 

While a modest budget determined the pared-back material palette, its robust aesthetic was informed by our client’s newly inherited antique book collection. The Tasmanian oak’s rich caramel tones are in contrast with the built-in storage units and shelving systems, which are finished in black (like the ceiling and exterior cladding). These dark features interrupt the patchwork arrangement and prevent each space from appearing overly cluttered.

 

We wanted to embody the quality of those books in the design; their texture and all those things that make them so tasty and appealing when you think of how they feel.

Chris Gilbert, Lead Architect

 

Full walls of double glazing and a restrained material palette strengthens the connection between inside and out. The sense of space is effectively doubled without the need of formal structures, the result of incorporating the high performing SIPS (Structurally Insulated Panel System).

After extensive research, Archier proposed SIPS as a highly efficient product that provided structural, insulating and aesthetic solutions. Whilst relatively new to the Australian market, it has been widely used and developed in Europe and North America. Supplied by Fenster & Panel, and installed in collaboration with Building Edge, the panels were manufactured in Canada after being 3D modelled and documented by Archier. This meant minimal on-site wastage and rapid installation time. The lightweight nature of the panels meant they could be handled and installed by hand, reducing the disruptive use of heavy machinery.

 

It’s phenomenal to watch the house over the day, it plays with the environment, creating little pictures and moments.

Carmel, Client.

 

I have never had more baths in my life, honestly I bathe now as much as I shower. I can just sit there and watch the shadow of the trees flicker over the courtyard screens.

Richard, Client.