Opposite an estuary in Potato Point NSW, the vacant suburban site came with an L shaped slatted timber windbreak fence behind a grove of casuarinas.
The house works as a habitable windbreak fence, maintaining the contrast between the sunny, open rear and the shady, filtered front. The house was imagined by the (expatriate) clients as their retreat, but also as a public space, visited independently by Canberra friends and extended family.
Taking as precedent the work of Melbourne architect Guilford Bell (1909-1992), the house uses tightly planned, axially ordered spaces and simple materials to achieve a theatrical setting.
These three ideas: house as windbreak fence / public space / stage set, invited another layer of endeavour - graffiti / public art / painted backdrop. Graffiti artist byrd (Dan Maginnity) proposed a poem, applied with stencil and spray can:
I see a lake as a field / a field as an island / an island as a wood / a wood as a lake
The project includes onsite grey water treatment, composting toilets and rainwater for the washing machine and external shower. The windbreak fence was recycled as boundary fence and gates.
2012 AIA ACT Chapter Malcolm Moir and Heather Sutherland Award for Residential Architecture - Houses
2012 AIA ACT Chapter Art in Architecture Award commendation