Indoor-Outdoor Experience with maximum Functionality and Sustainability on a Narrow-Lot
To maximise the stretch of a narrow-lot property, the design concept envisioned by Craig Steere Architects considered the entire site as a ‘room’ to inhabit.
A clear glass box form is occupying the ground floor, while another, a simplified cantilevered box form hovers above to spawn architectural solutions that blur the boundaries between what is inside and outside.
The walls of the ground floor glass box retract into wall sockets allowing the living and dining spaces to expand beyond interior boundaries, blending in with the outdoor area. The lower area is envisioned as a pleasant and expansive indoor/outdoor living space, that can be used all year round. In the extremes of summer and winter months, the area can be enclosed by a double glazed, thermally broken skin which regulates temperature and minimises the use of air-conditioning. Large expanses of retractable glass allow the spaces to increase in size, gain natural light and airiness. On the upper level, a cantilevering box form acts as a large shading device that reduces solar gain to the lower level, contributing to the overall sustainability of the property.
Above, a series of slender columns support the cantilever structure conceptualising a floating box. Further, the ceiling framed by the cantilevered box form sits low reinforcing the horizontal flow of the space bringing forth its width.
“The Inside Outside house embodies sustainable design principles resulting in built forms that achieve optimum passive design with considerations to prevailing winds and solar access””
Craig Steere Architects
The standout piece of the lower outdoor area, the perforated screen brick wall blocks the views from the street, while at the same time allows views to the outside.
Glass box extrudes out to the street infolding a double volume space to the lower front court. The extrusion features a series of vertical batten acting as screens to filter and direct the view outwards, which is deliberately designed to frame the view horizontally towards the sky and the local iconic feature, the Norfolk Pines while filtering out the views of pedestrian and vehicle traffic. Another large courtyard sits in the back of the house, adjacent to the second living area, laundry, and garage, with an option to open all these spaces and turn them into backyard indoor/outdoor space.
To make the maximum use of the space, some spatial functions overlap resulting in improved functionality; storage has been detailed and incorporated alongside and to the underside of the stairs; bi-fold doors allow flexible division of space where required.
Liaison with landscape architect regarding the provision of adequate planting depth along boundaries to ensure the concept of a boundary as ‘green walls’. Plant species and landscape within the courtyard follow the concept of the public amenity of the streetscape, and inner courtyards.
Besides Craig Steere Architects team who oversaw the design of the project, a close collaboration with engineers (MBSE Consultants), lighting consultants (ALTI Lighting), intelligent home consultants (AV consultants), and builders (Kelvin Brooks Building) brought all the pieces of the project together.
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