Home design | Various materials and a mural give the Charred Timber House a distinctive streetscape | Avocado


lifestyle, Ainslie, Canberra, Shou Sugi Ban siding, charred wood, Zincalume, Claire Foxton, Rob Henry Architects

Known as the Charred Timber House, this is a sturdy family home, designed on a series of levels that follow the steep slope of the block in the Canberra suburb of Ainslie. Its signature exterior elements are the Shou Sugi Ban siding, which was beautifully installed by the owner, and a recycled hardwood slatted screen for the carport, which was made from the roof slats of the chalet. ‘origin. The textures of the recycled and charred wood provide a contrast to the rest of the house which is clad in a custom Zincalume orb siding. In addition to the main house, the carport has its own focal point in the mural painted on the exterior by artist Claire Foxton. The whimsical piece of art features a large child’s face with hair that becomes a montage of native flora in blues, reds, which complement the green of the plants behind and the lushness of the grass. The mural provides a point of social interaction between the house and the pedestrian path adjacent to it. As you enter the house, the burnished concrete floor cascades over the divided levels, while the raked ceiling follows the house’s step up. The first level houses the bedrooms and service areas, from where the wooden and concrete steps lead to the central and bright living space. This central area is connected to the back yard, the carefully walled landscaping reflects the house’s step inside. Large sliding doors on this level lead seamlessly to a pergola structure defining the outdoor living area. This indoor-outdoor living space is perfect for receptions and large family reunions. The last level of the house includes a secondary living space and a master bedroom. The finishes of the house complement the interior form by being minimal, with white and wood joinery adding to the lightness of the spaces. The house’s passive solar design provides northern light throughout all living spaces and bedrooms, while carefully located southern windows allow cross ventilation. The house is fully enveloped and insulated, and the use of thermal break double-glazed windows and built-in solar capacity add to the minimization of energy consumption. Delivered with attention to affordability, longevity and low maintenance, this home combines practical solutions with designed elegance.


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