Inside-Out house at Parkside
The brief from the outset was clear ‘demolish the old house because it is so badly cracked, and we’re tired of constant repairs, we love ‘design’; and apart from the list of rooms etc. we wish to build as ‘sustainably’ as possible’.
An almost immediate response by EA was to suggest we keep the shell of the house, gutting the inside, and creating a ‘front garden’ within the shell, and design the new house around that space, using the shell. It was enthusiastically greeted, hence what we see today.
At first sight, the street view is that of a villa with a modern addition alongside, integrated to form a complete frontage. After wondering ‘what is different here’ it is clear there’s no glass in the window, in fact you can see the garden through it! The front fence, garden and its entry path clearly direct the visitor to the old villa verandah and front door – as one might consider to be normal, except the door opens into another garden within the old villa walls, through which access along the garden path brings us to the actual front door to the home.
The front wall of the villa is beautiful dressed sandstone. The side wall (between the villa and the ‘now Living Room’) is bluestone, which is exposed to the room, with existing window openings now fitted with new frames and glazing. What was the inside of that bluestone wall is now clad in a translucent sheet material which encapsulates an air gap, which together with the wall acts as a Trombe wall – providing additional passive heat in winter and ventilation in summer, while protecting the now external surface of that wall from weathering.
The new house component is a clean lined, contemporary feel, spacious and light filled, set of spaces with significant indoor-outdoor relationships, access to winter sun and shade as required; polished concrete floors, rammed earth walls, are offset with plasterboard finishes in a soft and warm balance with solid acoustic separation between sleeping and living spaces.
Our approach to collaborative design with each client has reflected strongly in this building. The juxtaposition of facilities, gardens, and personal spaces, were designed with attention on their short and long term needs, and balanced with low energy demand comfort systems which have minimised long term outgoings (energy and money).
The site context contributed to deployment of useable spaces, ‘turning the back on the adjacent 2 storey row dwellings’ creating privacy for family living, while ensuring minimal street noise interference.
The result is a home of 2 living areas, separate ensuited accommodation for extended family, bedrooms, study, and hobby rooms, placing very low demands on external energy and water supplies through ample winter solar gain; heavily insulated reverse block veneer construction; double glazed windows including a layer of Comfort Plus; 500L gas boosted solar hot water system for domestic use and hydronic in-floor heating; the Trombe Wall; an under floor cool pipe system fed by a ‘climate wizard’ dri-cool cooler; 60KL of rain water storage; grey water reuse system; and LED lighting throughout much of the house.
Parkside, Adelaide, SA