Discussing internal volume sounds like an analysis of a room's acoustic qualities. But the volume of a room has nothing to do with sound. It is volume measured not in decibels, but cubic metres in other words, differing volumes of space, created by ceilings of differing heights and shapes.
The architects at Modern Architecture Partners Ltd, Kerry Mason and Rebecca McLaughlan, employed this principle when designing this house at Millbrook Resort.
"The clients' brief was for modern lines simple, stylish and uncluttered. They were inspired by another house we had done at the same resort, so we used that as a starting point," says Mason.
As with most resorts or communities, there was a building code in place that dictated what the exterior of the house must look like. This particular code called for gables, which offer the opportunity for tall interior spaces. Often, the gable form is underplayed with a flat ceiling, but the architects chose to play up this volume. The challenge then became how to define the adjoining spaces.
"The kitchen is a good example of this challenge. Logistically, you want it located adjacent to the main living spaces, but as a service space, you want to create a degree of separation, even if only perceptually. Lowering the kitchen ceiling achieved this, and gave the space a more intimate feel. It also has practical benefits, in that it houses the air conditioning and extraction units," says McLaughlan.
Keeping an area open but still maintaining individuallydefined spaces can be a tricky proposition, especially when you are trying to keep the material palette constant throughout.