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Affectionately known as the Banjup Rec Centre, our main brief was really to create a true forever house on a semi-rural bush block where our clients Chris & Michelle could enjoy some space, entertain and let their three young boys run an absolute muck!
Our first conversation with Chris was heavily based around a go-cart track and a shed. It was also the first thing we designed, basically out of sheer excitement of designing a go cart track. The house momentarily took backstage while we discussed grandstands, footy posts, and an indoor basketball court!
As with all of our projects, the goal posts moved a little both figuratively and literally once we started designing the actually home. This was to be Chris & Michelle’s forever home and a place they could see out the next 30 to 40 years. It’s a real privilege to be involved in these projects especially with trusting clients that could truly appreciate the value of engaging an architect.
The house pivots around an outdoor activity space. It’s not a defined space, it’s rather generous in size and loose with boundaries but it’s the there. It encourages an interaction between the overlooking spaces whether it’s when if greets you at the entry and invites you in, or it’s from the elevated kitchen looking out, or the dining space spilling out. Maybe it’s the pool or the barbeque and bar, all of these areas interact directly with an outdoor core and encourage well, being outdoors. This setting along with the northerly aspect and views across the bushland also draw you out to the scrub. The house invites you to leave it and get outside and explore, but with its simple passive solar traits it draws you back in out of the blistering black sandy heat or the intermittent downpours.
Chris noted just the other day they they’d only used the fireplace twice over winter and it was out of sheer novelty factor and had only used the reverse cycle system to test it.
Other than all the sporting options available (which only grew along the way) the materials and design had two blatant overtones; invincibility and serenity. The house is built Tonka Tough. The raw rammed earth walls can take a hit and if they mark, you’ll never notice. Flawless delicate finishes are not for boys, concrete floors, black granite tops, exposed steel and low maintenance is what’s needed. It’s a raw aesthetic that works really well and the textural walls and timber tones soften the spaces.
The serenity comes via distance. Physically located in a separate wing Chris & Michelle have a space they can call their own compete with a private courtyard outside the shower for a little slice of tranquillity. Again, the option is there to spill out to that outdoors core and at least keep an eye on the action if needed. For the in-laws, there is a guest wing separated from the house via a breezeway. It’s the only space orientated away of the core and that works well here. It’s a private little get away and completely self-sustained.
The house sits will in the blackened banksia dominated landscape and once the native revegetation takes hold it will truly site quite humbly in its surroundings.
This is a house design and built unashamedly for this family. Others love it but it’s all about Chris & Michelle’s lifestyle and their family and that makes it a beautiful nice home.