Some houses are built to catch the sun while others are designed to maximise their sites, and still others celebrate a sculptural beauty within. This home's well-considered design works well on all fronts both literally and metaphorically.
The owners asked architectural designer Darren O'Neil for a timeless, contemporary and functional family home. At the same time, it had to be energy efficient, private and offer exceptional indoor-outdoor living.
"This well-balanced home fulfils these goals, and more," says O'Neil. "Another request was that it work well with its surroundings and, to achieve this, its stacked form doesn't dominate the streetscape while the classic cedar cladding echoes the weatherboard on an adjacent villa."
The plan follows an L shape with the base of the L facing the street. This facade has limited windows, ensuring privacy. However, on arrival at the glass front door, visitors enjoy a vista down a circulation corridor that runs the length of the home. Forming the long section of the L, this spine has public spaces positioned to the right and ground floor bedrooms to the left.
The second level, containing the master suite, looks at first glance like a regular square rising above. However, two walls are set off the 90 degrees, creating interesting angles and visual interest from both outside and inside.
It's not until walking through the home and looking back on it from the rear yard that the orderly composition of planes, boxes and strong vertical chimney elements is fully appreciated.