Courtyard home optimises garden outlooks and sustainable design

Fussy detailing is avoided in this new home, where sculptural forms, strong materiality and sustainability hold sway

​​​​​​​Timber cladding, dark brickwork and a painted steel , architecture, design, facade, home, house, residential, timber, Dalecki Design
​​​​​​​Timber cladding, dark brickwork and a painted steel garage door come together to create a  compositional balanced facade on this home by Dalecki Design.

Wrapping round a sheltered, private open-air space, courtyard homes attract plenty of natural light and connect the indoors with the outdoors at every turn – a great blueprint for this green home.

The homeowners’ brief was for a light-filled, passive-solar home with a strong mixed material palette and fluid links to the outdoor spaces and nature, says designer Janik Dalecki.

“In addition, the design had to offer distinct living zones, so the owners’ children could have a sense of their own space when they are older.”

The home’s emphasis on materiality is seen right from the street, the front facade a pleasing composition of rich, warm timber, dark brick cladding and white render – with the garage in dark steel. Apart from the steel, these surfaces feature in various ways throughout the home, as does the white breeze block of the front fence.

“And it’s the materiality that draws you into the home, as well,” Dalecki says. “The warm timber cladding wraps in under the wall plane to form the soffits. At the front entry, the wood extends right inside the hall, leading the way.”

A few steps inside, the hallway soars up to 2.5 levels in height. As well as creating drama, the lofty proportions allow for large clerestory windows to access the northern light and lighten up what is often the darkest part of a home.

​​​​​​​This living zone’s dark tones balance the natural architecture, coffee table, couch, floor, furniture, living room, home, house, interior design, shelf, shelving, table, wall, white, black, Dalecki Design
​​​​​​​This living zone’s dark tones balance the natural light that floods into the room. The darker hues also make the room feel cosy at night.

“Along with a dramatic height, the hallway includes a wall in the same dark brick as the cladding, with designated bricks arranged to create a pattern that lightens in density as it rises. Another feature of the entry space is the riserless staircase, with treads in jarrah repurposed from the original home on the site.”

Riserless stair treads bring the advantage of transparency when looking from the front door down the hall and through a see-through breeze block wall to the central courtyard.

The home is efficiently arranged, with three bedrooms and a secondary lounge/play room upstairs, and the main living and dining zone, master suite, and other spaces downstairs – an ideal separation for teenage years ahead.

At the end of the hall, by the breeze block wall, the living and dining zone is directly to the left, with the kitchen at the near end of the room. As with the home, the kitchen lacks fussy detail, such as cabinet handles, to let its materiality shine.

The living area also includes the dark brick for one of its two feature walls. The other is in in situ-cast concrete with all imperfections retained. The rugged latter surface also connects with the polished concrete floor slab.

​​​​​​​On this green-focussed home, pulling the covered alfresco architecture, backyard, courtyard, design, facade, furniture, home, house, interior design, patio, shade, alfresco dining
​​​​​​​On this green-focussed home, pulling the covered alfresco dining area away from the living zone optimises solar penetration onto the concrete floor slab, which acts as a heat sink.

One side of the living space includes floor-to-ceiling windows looking out to an ornamental pond while the other side opens up via sliders to the courtyard, outdoor dining area and pool.

“The home’s orientation allows the sun to penetrate via the courtyard directly into the main living areas, heating the exposed concrete slab. The concrete’s thermal mass acts as a heat sink, releasing warmth back into the rooms at night.”

Passive control over temperature is added in other ways, too. The pond outside the living room helps cool warm summer breezes before they travel through the home. And to further maximise solar gain in winter, the alfresco area is pulled away from the main living zone, providing another, lower angle for the northern sun to penetrate deep into the interior.

Other green factors are Low-E glazing, a solar power unit, an in-ground rainwater collection tank and a heat pump hot water system.

Given that the home covers a large area of the site, rooftop gardens were introduced as additional landscaping. Every room in the home, upstairs and down, looks out to nature.

Credit list

House designer
Janik Dalecki, Dalecki Design
Kitchen designer
Dalecki Design
Pool design
Dalecki Design
Garage door
Tower sectional garage door, finished in Colorbond Monument
Main flooring
Burnished concrete
Stair balustrading
Perforated metal, black powdercoat
Radiant Lighting
Kitchen benchtops
Bianco Romano granite, brushed
Kitchen sink and mixer
Ensuite vanity splashback
Caesarstone in Calacatta Nuvo
Ensuite tiles
Interno 9 Silver Italian rectified porcelain in Natural finish by ABK; Trilogy Sky Smoke Italian rectified porcelain in soft finish by Panaria
Limitless Building
Interior design and landscape design
Dalecki Design and Limitless Building
Weathertex; Elements Zinc bricks, by Austral Bricks; black mortar
Jason Windows, residential and commercial ranges, custom black,
Breeze blocks
Brikmakers masonry blocks – 150 Series
Stair treads
Recycled jarrah, stained black
Kitchen cabinetry
Egger laminate in black under bench and Polytec laminate in Black, Woodmatt overhead
Smoked, bronzed mirror
Ensuite vanity
Polytec veneer in Florentine Walnut
Vanity handles
Tilla Handle by Kethy, black stained timber with copper stems; Tilla Radio Knob, black painted with brass plated ring
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Homes – Winner

Story by: Charles Moxham

Photography by: Dion Robeson

22 Jun, 2019

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