Well connected

With its soaring double-height glazing and wide openings, this new house has a close connection to the outdoors and the wider view beyond

Exterior vIew of contemporary home. architecture, building, facade, home, house, real estate, residential area, window, black
Exterior vIew of contemporary home.

The difference between a modern house and one built in the 1950s is starkly obvious for the owners of this property.

Architect Ewan Brown of Tennent + Brown Architects says the 1950s house that sat on the site originally was quite typical of the era, with small windows and no connection with the landscape. Fast forward a year and it's easy to see just how much has changed in the past half a century.

The new house built for Michael and Paula Farrand was designed to maximise the sun in winter, and the views up the valley. And although the footprint is not overly large, the scale of the house is generous, thanks to a double-height volume in the family living area.

The expansive glazing is relieved by horizontal slatted wood sunscreens that reduce the amount of sunlight coming inside during the summer, but allow the sun to warm the interior in winter.

VIew of stairway in contemporary home. baluster, floor, flooring, handrail, hardwood, interior design, laminate flooring, product, stairs, wood, wood flooring, wood stain, white
VIew of stairway in contemporary home.

"The Lawson's cypress posts and beams, which have been left to weather, create a framework that softens the outside of the building," says Brown. "They have a layering effect if you peel these away, there is a lot of glass behind. We also introduced a double-height wall of vertical slats at entry, which intersects with the horizontal elements."

Brown says this wall helps create a sense of arrival, with the drama continuing inside the house similar vertical slats feature in the open stairwell at the entry. The soaring volume of the entry and open-plan living area reinforce the visual drama.

Timber also features in the saligna hardwood floor and the plywood ceiling in the living area.

"Although this is a modern house, it has plenty of visual warmth," says Brown. "The plywood ceiling ensures the living area is not too cold, which it could have been with an expanse of plasterboard."

VIew of open plan lounge and dining area architecture, ceiling, daylighting, floor, flooring, house, interior design, living room, property, real estate, room, window, gray
VIew of open plan lounge and dining area in contemporary home.

The space also benefits from the dappled light created by the external sunscreens.

Other features of the living area include a gas fireplace with a tiled front to the chimney, and built-in window seats that provide storage.

The galley-style kitchen pairs lacquered cabinets with He¤fele Infinity composite stone benchtops and a glass splashback. A walk-in pantry provides a second work area.

Modern technology has been incorporated to create a fully automated smart home. Michael Farrand, who runs a lighting consultancy, says the lighting, irrigation, security, gates and audiovisual equipment are all controlled by a touch screen with remote iPhone access. LED lighting also features scene-setting coloured and mood lighting can be changed at the touch of a button.

Credit list

outdoors – and the wider view beyond Architect
Ewan Brown, Brenda Solon,
Kitchen manufacturer
MB Joinery
Lawson's cypress weatherboards; Sto Plaster from Builders Plastics
Saligna hardwood from
Paints and varnishes
Fujitsu from Prolight Electrical
Concept Blinds
Kitchen cabinetry
Graphic Glass; Metropolitan Glass
Paffoni from MasterTrade
Fisher & Paykel; Bosch
Security alarm installation
MA Wiggins
Landscape designer
Nicole Thompson, Wraight & Associates
Dimond and Ardex from
Jacobsen Creative Surfaces; Heritage Tiles
ECC Lighting; Modus; Lighting Pacific; Lighthaus
Doors and windows
APL from First Windows & Doors
Calligaris and Natuzzi from Parker Ferguson
Home automation
Dynalite; AMX; Lighthaus
Häfele Infinity
Mercer from MasterTrade
Oven, cooktop and refrigeration
Fisher & Paykel
Sprinkler installation
B Stone Plumbing

Story by: Colleen Hawkes

05 Aug, 2011

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