To minimise site noise for the sound recording studio next door, the CplusC construction team stockpiled building supplies against the wall to create a sound buffer and set to work demolishing the existing kitchen and structural walls.
Then they suspended the new kitchen and dining room on new structural supports.
With a vanishingly small footprint, the under-stair guest toilet was tricky, but was built successfully using the smallest possible tiles and installing the extraction vent in the floor.
For the owner couple, seeing their home take shape was an incredible experience.
“Dropping by to see build progress was always a high – we’d restrain ourselves from visiting too often so the next visit would be equally revelatory,” one owner says.
Despite difficult site access, the CplusC construction team worked ahead of schedule.
With a clearway out front, parking was tough, and flatbed delivery trucks could not negotiate a tight corner to reach the site at the rear.
Construction equipment and materials were loaded from a truck onto a trolley and manoeuvred painstakingly down a pathway 900 millimetres wide.
A 6.8m length of structural steel for the kitchen beam had to be cut up and rolled in piece by piece.
Midway through construction came a quirky surprise – a vaulted well, part on the property and part on a neighbour’s.
CplusC’s builders created a structural bridge for it using an upturned beam and kept right on working.
“The communication was great,” says the owner.
“Everyone worked so fast that the timelines reduced regularly and the quality of the work and the finishes exceeded our expectations.”
A living geode
With no outlook to work with, CplusC’s design for ZZ Top House is inspired by geodes, rocks that contain hollow cavities lined with jagged crystals to create dazzling inner worlds.
In the same way, the home opens from an unassuming exterior to reveal a fascinating space inside.
Bold 3.8m-high louvres and skylights admit light to this secret world, creating a beautiful symphony of light and shade nuanced by season and time of day.
An accordion design compresses and connects the vast spaces, wittily expressed by a recurring zigzag motif explored in the floors, the louvred windows and even the kitchen bench.
One owner says: “The first time I walked into our finished home, I couldn't wipe the smile off my face – it was a massive thrill.
"Now, seeing the soaring space and the way it all works so beautifully is an amazing combo of ‘coming home’ and ‘wow’!”
The wow starts at the door
One of CplusC’s transformative ideas was moving the front façade entrance to the side, reducing the perceived length of the home and using the normally wasted space of the side entry path more effectively.
“The house opens around you the instant you enter – there’s no trekking down a corridor past bedrooms to get to the living spaces,” Clinton Cole says. “This creates an arresting experience for everyone who walks in.”
The owner says: “I love when someone we know walks through the front door for the first time, watching the look on their face as they take it all in.
"I know what they’re seeing as I see it every day: the way the light and shadows play on the surfaces, such as our big brick dining wall and the floor, and vary with the day, the weather and the season – the way all the spaces work individually and as part of a whole.”