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190 Franklin Rd. Portsea

David Porritt

Victoria Entries 2010

Neo-Shaker Design, inspired by early sea-side homes and barns.
Sea-side villages saw master carpenters, boat-builders and cabinet-makers use quality wood working techniques for building.
Simplicity, function and restraint was characteristic of early maritime building and design.
Aside from chimneys, exterior extremities were limited, making building outline reductive.
Transferring the above mentioned ethos into a 20th century modernist house was challenging.

Services and hydraulics needed to be concealed in wall frames and roof trusses to visually maintain Shaker authenticity.

Red Iron bark logs were ordered 12 months prior to building commencement allowing it to be rough sawn and pegged out to dry. Later, timber was cut and profiled to detailed measurements using a variety of lengths, thicknesses and widths
Western Red Cedar Shingles (along with specialty stainless-steel staples and staple-guns) was ordered from Canada 6 months prior to construction, allowing for sea freight

Time saving meant pine frames and trusses were built off site, delivered, then placed on-site slab to exacting measurements. Erected, all pine frames and roof trusses were laminated using 15mm 'tongue and groove' marine-ply for bracing strength and also act as secondary barrier for moisture and salt-water driven air.
Horizontal pine battens were next applied followed by individual shingles being stapled to battens.
Shingle wall and roof thickness's, including insulation and internal dry-wall, measured 240mm which offered energy efficiency and soundproofing for severe winds and heavy rain.
Convincing state building authorities, for a code variance to regulations regarding use of 'timber roof in a bush-fire prone zone,' allowed me to build a shingle roof with the accompaniment of external roof sprinklers system.
Investigating alternative sprinkler solutions found local company using heat resistant thermally welded poly pipe. Designing hydraulics and supplying a water source other than mains water meant the swimming pool would act as initial reservoir, backed up by 50 thousand litres of tank water stored in basement. Note, equipment can be activated by boundary sensors or by mobile phone.

Lower building walls were designed to have horizontal heavy boards wrapping the entire exterior, also concealing any concrete panels related to the large underground garage. Boards were also used for internal garage walls, ceilings, and louvred walls for ventilation to plant-room equipment. Board spacing and 'flush' surface characteristics was aligned at all junctions and intersections with other materials.
Stairwells used Red Iron bark boards for:interior walls, ceilings, handrails, treads and risers.
Boards were also profiled for exterior decking, corresponding ceilings and all finer detail work particularly front and rear entrances. Other detailed work included aligning passage way deck boards with internal oak flooring. Off-cuts were used for vegetable garden dividers and paths.
Red Iron bark boards were jet- welded to frames using PU Thermoset Adhesive thus preventing the use of unsightly nails or screws. Chaired biscuits were used on all decks also eliminating exposed fasteners.
As mentioned above, house is located in a 'bush fire prone zone' only few species world wide are regarded as naturally fire resistant, Red Iron Bark is one of 4 species indigenous to Australia, thus no special coatings or paint was needed,allowing timber to age and blend into surrounding vegetation.
Commercially unavailable meant window sections and related hardware was designed to meet flush with shingle facade. External timber doors were also designed to meet flush with shingle surface
Glass was designed with fused in white borders to hide all mullions,a reminder of white painted windows frames commonly used throughout time.
Entered into:
  • Residential Class 1, New Buildings (Single family dwellings/townhouses), 2010
  • Best Use Of Solid Timber Cladding, 2010
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