The brief was one her practice sees often; a growing family needing more living space, new wet areas and a connection to the landscape. As the name suggests, the updated home titled ‘Timberland’ is largely composed of timber elements, with Australian hardwood featuring prominently both indoors and out.
The unique feature on the 1200m2 site was the 65-year-old, 11m tall oak tree which wasn’t visible from inside the existing brick lean-to. The tree was planted by the previous owner some 65 years ago, using an acorn from their parent’s property in England. After renovating the front rooms of the 1898 sandstone symmetrical cottage, the focus turned to the major addition. The framework was designed to create a space that would experience the full height of the oak tree from inside the addition. The project also needed to accommodate a new practice office for the architectural business. It was equally important for Wilson to be able to have direct view of her two children, not only inside the extension but also when looking out to the backyard.
The floorplan is quite simple with all main living areas receiving northern aperture and views. Wet spaces and services are located on the south. A lack of northern orientation drove the decision to separate the addition from the rear of the existing house. The offset captures passive sunlight, cross flow ventilation and creates a private courtyard for the office.
Wilson chose a variety of Boral Timber products in Blackbutt species to be featured throughout the home. “We wanted to use Australian hardwood for its colour and durability,” commented Wilson. “Timber is such a neutral palette that works with other materials, such as the black aluminium, brick and concrete flooring in our new addition. The continual use of natural timber and raw materials complements the warm feeling of the space.”
The strong lines and symmetry of the heritage ‘M roof’ steered the form of the new roofline. This strong profile is the backbone of the addition, defined by a Blackbutt structural timber fascia. The new open plan living room achieves the tallest pitch and extends out over the deck to provide western shading. The roofline is then set back, with the ridge height of the dining and kitchen dropping down 1m, then flattening off completely over the scullery, laundry and garage.
Internally, Boral V-joint boards in Blackbutt were selected to horizontally line the pitched ceiling and main wall. The feature grade timber highlights the character of the black gum veins and knots to create a sense of uniqueness. “Observing the natural variations in the timber is like looking at clouds and makes the space more homely because it’s not perfect,” said Wilson. “We only have one plasterboard wall in the space. The timber walls are also practical and durable from a family living perspective.”
The timber lined ceiling extends beyond the glazed windows, over the covered Blackbutt decking, guiding the view outdoors to the oak tree and expanding the living space to an undercover entertaining platform.
“Timberland has been an evolution of experimentation,” remarked Wilson. “A well detailed, hand crafted addition that has enhanced the lives of my family. It relies on the simplicity of an efficient plan and raw materials to create a delightful building that has already become an integral part of the landscape in which it has settled.”
Timberland received two commendations in the 2018 SA Architecture Awards; Residential Architecture – Alterations & Additions and Sustainable Architecture.
Featured Boral Timber products in Blackbutt species:
- Structural hardwood (fascia)
- V-joint Lining Board (ceiling and wall)
- Decking (130mm)
Image credit: ‘Timberland’ sw-architects © Sam Noonan_1