Simple, classic design with a modern twist

New home for soon to be retired owners makes full use of its narrow site, while balancing openness with a sense of privacy

Designed by Barry Connor Design

From the designer:

Located within a quiet leafy residential district the relatively open design brief requirements were limited to a single storey, easy-care dwelling for the soon to be retired owners.

Simple, modern and classic design elements with a modern interpretation were some of the requirements but essentially the brief was open, understated and trusted.

The site is framed along the road side by an existing boundary brick wall that curves into the site at the entry and this set up one of the initial cues for the dialogue of the concept design. The classic heritage red brick wall references the past and so we set upon considering a modern interpretation for the new home.

The site is also bounded by a right of way to the South West so we wanted to create a layout that allowed for privacy from the street and access way, but allow for an open and light feeling to the interior.

This was a critical element to the design and all within the relatively narrow constraints of the 11m wide site.

The simple long barn form sits long-side to the driveway and is positioned to provide as much outdoor space along the North and East sides as possible. The form of the building is simple with three square offsets that create sheltered pockets of garden space inserted between.

The house sits confidently and private on the site with only a gentle curved entry that peels off the driveway serving as a subtle invitation to the front door and the home beyond.

The main living, kitchen and dining spaces are located to the front and open out to the main courtyard garden. This allows us to take advantage of the year round morning sun and creates a home that feels like it's a part of the garden, drawing adults, kids and dogs alike out and into the garden.

The master bedroom, with access to the central courtyard, is positioned to capture views through the courtyard and the living area to the front garden.

The central courtyard improves cross-flow ventilation and lets north light into the master bedroom. With full-height windows on both sides of the living area, it also creates the illusion of one continuous space, blurring the boundary between inside and out.

Floor-to-ceiling glazing and sliding doors to both the rear yard and courtyard allow the house to be opened up, maximising potential for natural light and ventilation and creating a strong connection between internal and external spaces, giving the impression of a garden creeping inside

A service yard off the laundry and garage allows natural light to filter into the office space and through to the hallway that connects the guest rooms to the main house and the garage.

The existing front boundary brick wall provides for a sheltered and private outdoor living space and protects the main living spaces from neighbours to either side and focuses attention back to the garden.

The central courtyard improves cross-flow ventilation and lets
The central courtyard improves cross-flow ventilation and lets north light into the master bedroom.

White bagged brick cladding grounds the house to the site and seeks to reference the traditional front boundary entry wall whilst providing a simple textural element to the dwelling.

The board and batten cladding frames the roof cover and adds a simple stylish rhythm to the upper form with the glazed gable end.

Carefully placed curved windows add a silhouette of the curved references and add interest to the main living and rear entry.

The mainly monochromatic palette allows for the landscaping to shine and the off white brick reflects the greenery of the garden surrounding it. Reclaimed brick paving also frames the landscaping with a circular brick patio and brick edged circular lawn space directly accessed off the main living area.

Design features

The design approach for this project was to utilise the full extent of the site and embrace the neighbouring exposure whilst retaining a sense of privacy and intimacy for the home.

The courtyard and garden areas seamlessly connect with the open plan living space and seek to embrace a casual, relaxed and informal living style throughout the year. 

The main living area was positioned to allow for all day sun and oriented to take advantage of natural morning light where possible. Lightly framed pergolas create some filtered shading to both interior and exterior spaces and also help retain a sense of privacy from neighbouring sections and over lookers from the street.

Throughout the design the house maintains a compact footprint that is balanced by generous ceiling heights and visual connection to the exterior courtyard spaces.

The informal and relaxed layout was created to be a testament to small living in suburbia; strong and simple forms, a natural, light and clean palette whilst moderating privacy and outlook with the surrounding neighbourhood.

Credit list

Barry Connor Design
CHH Shadowclad with timber battens; Midland bricks
Mark Prosser Builders
Architectural Roofing standing seam

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Dennis Radermacher

31 May, 2020

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