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Residential Design – New Houses $500K- $1M Construction Cost

Bell House

Winner: Residential Design – New Houses $500K- $1M Construction Cost
Winner: Most Effective Use of Timber
Winner: Wilson id Pty Ltd

(03) 9388 0420
Gary Gross

This project was undertaken for an older couple with very specific needs and design ideas. The house had to take advantage of its location overlooking Barwon Heads, while being mindful of environmental issues and the likely needs of this active, but ageing couple The resultant house, while architecturally conservative, is light filled and intimate, and allows the occupants to live predominately on one level, yet it has the flexibility to expand when the family visit. The natural light and warm neutral tones used throughout the project create an excellent backdrop for an extensive aboriginal art collection.

The project was unanimously voted the winner of the “Best Residential Design - New House : $500,000 to $1 million". The dwelling has been designed to take into account the slope of the block and is very much in keeping with its location; being sympathetic to its frontage, yet blending in well with the bush-land to the rear. The lines are clean but the design bold, with boxed windows to add extra depth.

An extensive use of external spotted gum timber cladding is used which both complements the hard-edged design whilst creating a warmth and natural feel to the structure. The use of timber floors internally continues the feel. Colours both inside and out are understated, providing a clean feeling throughout. The kitchen and bathrooms are modern yet not overstated, and the entertainment areas are light filled and cosy; making excellent use of their elevation.

The project also won “Most Effective Use of Timber”.

“The use of timber is largely responsible for ensuring that this house is in harmony with its coastal Victorian location,” said the Judges. “Spotted gum cladding softens what might otherwise be a formal arrangement of monolithic forms of a type more often found in an urban context.”

Relatively small areas of render finish provide contrast and a formal presence in the street, but from there the extensive use of timber cladding emphasises a coastal aesthetic and allows the house to blend with the native vegetation. Further reference to the coastal environment is made through the timber fencing element at the street frontage, extensive decking and slatted screens and sun shades.

“The designer has effectively carried the timber theme through to the interiors, with timber cladding to the balustrades of decks, spotted gum flooring and refined timber joinery to the ensuite and living area. Paired with a neutral colour palette, the restrained use of timber internally provides a foil for the owners’ indigenous art collection,” said the Judges.