This home on a small property outside Crows Nest is for a professional couple who retired from Canberra to live in Crows Nest.
The site was a blank slate with no vegetation on it other than a few straggly trees in one corner. It sloped slightly down to the main road and was screened by a dense bank of natural vegetation from this road. The site was very open to the adjacent neighbours and was on the edge of an ecologically sensitive area and due to the clump of trees in one corner was also registered as being bushfire prone. The clients had expressed strong interest in gardening and developing the lot with fruit and other trees.
We developed a design where the house is well set back from the front boundary thus allowing the driveway to curve to the south of the house and for the living spaces all to open onto a verandah on the northern side. The driveway extends past the house into a forecourt serving garages and sheds, thus allowing parking to be removed from the front entrance of the house.
The house has been designed on passive solar principles and natural ventilation is utilised for cooling. The main central space is celebrated with a raking cathedral ceiling and exposed roof trusses which allows for high level windows on the north which provide both ventilation and winter warmth. The narrow nature of the living spaces allow for excellent cross ventilation.
The bedroom wing closest to the road is capable of being closed off and used as a guest wing while the en-suite main bedroom and study are all closely linked to the living areas.
The colour palette internally has been kept restrained being mainly greys, creams and whites whilst the exterior is a mix of cream face-brick and a light grey panelling. Chunky timber posts on the northern verandah and pergolas are a rich timber brown, which contrast with the lighter wall cladding. The pergolas will eventually be covered by deciduous creepers.
The client was very clear about their requirements and the feeling they were looking for in their home and this made it an easy and enjoyable project to design. We were lucky enough to obtain the services of a craftsman local builder who put a lot of effort and detail into realising our client’s dream.
Since moving into their new home, our clients have very successfully worked with a landscape designer to develop the block. Once the trees grow to full maturity, the house will nestle within a glade of trees, screened well from adjacent properties.
Completed: Mid 2014
Cost: $ 510,000
Location: Crows’ Nest, QLD
Project Team: Chris Gay, Michael Bowman, Liehan van Rensburg
When we decided to have our new house architect designed, we interviewed 3 different architects in the Toowoomba region. Chris Gay of ELIA was the only one who had taken the trouble to prepare for our visit and to have obtained the appropriate documentation on our block. We engaged Chris to design our house and have been very pleased with both the process and the end result. Chris listened closely to our views and requirements, and asked questions to elicit requirements we hadn’t thought about. We asked for very few changes to his original design proposal, and engaged ELIA to project manage the build. The build went smoothly, and the house was finished to a high standard and on time. We are very happy with the result.