The client brief for this project was to keep the charm and street appeal from the road of the existing home whilst adding a private custom-designed, sustainable but uninhibited extension to the rear. The extension needed to cater for the family's adventurous living and entertaining lifestyle whilst keeping to a strict budget. They wanted to allow space for two more bedrooms in the existing home and added the surprising and challenging request for an outdoor golf driving range on the roof with a flying fox incorporated into it. One of the main complaints about the existing home was it was dark and cold in winter.
Emerging from the original rear of the house is a north facing double-height structure framed by recycled bridge timber and housing a spectacular kitchen, dining, powder room and living area. Large bifold stacker doors transition the indoors to the outdoor entertaining area where meticulous detail has been displayed by the tradesmen to create a delightful interplay of levels in the ceiling heights using timber bulkheads & recycled Oregon battens to separate and define areas. Taking pride of place above the commercial fridge & BBQ is the stunning timber mosaic art piece commissioned specifically for the ECO ADD and painstakingly created from 2100+ individual timber cubes. The outdoor living area, encompassed by earthy timber textures, provides a warm path to the spiral staircase where recycled Blackbutt treads ascend to the generous outdoor golf driving range situated immediately above on the roof. The golfer's retreat comes complete with rubber matting & synthetic grass driving mats and a 150m cable flying fox for the kids. The strength to accommodate the 5 tonne of compression and tension forces of the flying fox has been amply supplied by a 7.8m recycled Grey Gum bridge timber protruding through the 2 floors which provides an aesthetically pleasing yet practical solution.
Many forms and species of timber have contributed to the distinctive appeal of this building. The majority of beams, posts and window frames have been constructed using recycled bridge timbers which originated from the railways. The timbers were carefully selected and dressed on site and then finished with three coats of Sikkens wood finishings and covered by a 1250mm raked eave to minimise extensive ongoing maintenance.90% of the build has been screwed and bolted together so the building can be relocated in the event of the development of the land, making it recyclable and reusable. The principal external material used on the ECO ADD is Weathertex which enabled the employment of a harmonious combination of colour, sustainability and materials in conjunction with the recycled timber.
Timber also formed a significant component of the interior finishes palette. The elegant light filled open plan kitchen with its stepped island bench is made from 16mm Lamiwood. Double glazed windows have been carefully trenched into the rock hard timber window frames to minimise heat transfer by reducing aluminium window frames. The ethanol heater placed on the bees wax polished bridge timber/ ash decking mantle is a sophisticated and respectful nod to the ability of the old and recycled to blend seamlessly with technology. The use of Hispan LVL timber roof rafters allows for unencumbered wide open living areas and long cantilevering raked eave overhangs.
LED lighting, a custom-designed thermostatic computer driven air recirculation system (similar to new age high rise commercial structures), natural wool insulation, LPG gas cooking, Hebel wall for thermal heat storage and release, tank water, louver windows, solar water heating and water jets from the verandah beams combined with fans to cool the outdoor area are some of the green features that have ensured that the ECO ADD has exceeded all functional expectations of the client.
First and foremost though, the ECO ADD was designed in such a way that it can't be seen from the road yet after entering the property the home unfolds into a unique resort-style,sustainable oasis with the distinct natural appeal and adaptability that only timber can offer which continues to provide an energy efficient, environmentally responsible and stimulating environment to live within.