Rofail says texture and detail were important to maintain the serene feeling of a forest retreat. Given the natural outlooks, the house is finished in a rich stained cedar and earthy paint colours. An aged oak floor runs right through the home, which is another nod to the setting.
"Part of the brief for the new house was to optimise natural ventilation and this style of architecture allowed us to do that," says Rofail. "As hot air rises, it is released through the open louvres in the upper windows, which in turn draw in cooler air from below. At the same time, the clerestory windows and high eaves allow maximum natural light to penetrate."
Just as the courtyard separates the old house from the new, a central deck and pool provide an internal division between the two-storey private section of the new house and the self-contained artist's studio. Here again, the facades are oriented to face each other. The studio has the same gabled roof form and wall of sliding glass doors as the house, ensuring this working space is also light-filled and airy.
The entry to the secondary yard and studio from the main courtyard is through an old brick wall. This was retained from the original structure Rofail says he was keen to incorporate what he could of the old into the new. To the right of the entry, a protruding wall shows the position of the staircase inside the home. This element is finished in Mini Orb, creating a contrasting feature surface. The sleek corrugated iron facing also echoes the lines of the V-groove panels on the cladding and eaves, as does the timber decking around the pool.
"Despite the rather tight footprint, and urban high-density surroundings, this design achieves a sense of privacy and spaciousness by turning inward, with the public spaces looking to the leafy heart of the property," says Rofail.