A long-term base for a growing family – Canberra

This new house is located within a mature landscape setting in the inner South of Canberra. The suburb of Narrabundah is characterised by heavy tree canopies, and distant landscape views. Designed by Ben Walker Architects, the internal planning responds to sun access and elevated long-distance views to the east.
The cross-section takes advantage of the slope on the block by providing ground-level access from the street, and opportunities for elevated balconies and walkways on the eastern and southern sides.
The first courtyard is recessed between the northern living space and kitchen and will allow winter sun to enter the kitchen and dining space. This courtyard also provides a comfortably scaled, private outdoor seating area. The second courtyard is 2 storeys tall and runs beside the main interior stair connecting the two levels of the house. This courtyard provides light to the stair, upper floor ensuite, and basement level guest room and study.
The interiors of the house have been carefully considered in terms of both their material attributes and planning impact. A continuous entry gallery is only lightly demarcated by mid-height joinery on one side. This approach allows reflected light to filter between the top of joinery elements and the ceiling which increases the perceptible sense of space and volume. Simple planning has placed public zones on the eastern side of the gallery, and private rooms on the other.
Entries to private rooms are tucked behind wide openings in the gallery brickwork. Dark brick, recycled timber, dark joinery and brass are the primary finishes within the interiors. These materials have been used to create a rich internal living environment that belies the robustness of the exterior. The tactile quality of the brickwork is ever-present as you move through the house.
This home provides a highly flexible living environment that is rich in its material and tactile qualities, is robust and maintenance-free, takes advantage of its elevated landscape setting, and will provide a long-term base for a growing family.

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