Woodlands Residence

Status: in progress

Services provided:
  • Architecture /
  • Design

A sloping site with established trees and a dated pre-existing home was the beginning of the Woodlands Residence. Our clients’ desire for a larger and more suitable family home led to the decision to demolish the existing home and build a new one. A double garage with a large store area for bikes, paddleboards and surfboards is situated on the opposite side of the site to the largest established tree in order to retain this tree. The entrance leads to an open plan living, kitchen with a walk-in-pantry, and dining area configured in an L-shape around the alfresco area. Also on the ground floor is a playroom, a study, a bedroom, bathroom, and a laundry/mudroom. The first floor contains the master bedroom with a walk-in-robe and ensuite, a secondary bedroom and bathroom. The house is cladded in a combination of vertical colorbond custom orb cladding in monument, horizontal white fibre cement weatherboards, vertical James Hardie cladding panels in both shale grey and natural white, in addition to the use of matt black brickwork on the ground floor and a decorative perforated aluminium screen for the windows.


What were the clients’ main driving priorities for this house?

Our clients were keen to maximise their outlook to the natural woodlands to the immediate west of the site. At the same time, privacy and security to their rear outdoor living space was paramount and required careful consideration to achieve the right balance between the two.


Further to this, great solar access was required to all day time living spaces while enabling vision both throughout the house and outside into the rear courtyard. This led to a wrapped design that protects the outdoor living areas from the street, allows light in all while carefully enabling supervision. An exciting entertaining area was a key issue to allow the hosting of indoor and outdoor events with seamless transition from the dining to alfresco and kitchen.


What sort of lifestyle did these clients want to live?

Our clients wanted to be able to live in a generous space that allowed for private living and entertaining. A large, protected, but well-connected rear garden with a variety of lawn, vegetable growing spaces, & carefully selected planting by the landscape architect was key for them to enjoy and practically use the space as a young family. The playroom and future theatre was designed to be flexible as the family grows older, suitable for a change in use as and when required.


A private office was included to suit working from home and study, while a guest bedroom and bathroom were included in a separate zone to the other living spaces, enabling privacy for visiting family and guests.


Can you give us a rundown of the sustainable features of this home?

With current and future electric cars, a solar system with potential battery integration was a key part of the brief and maximising the active sustainability opportunities in the project. The north facing garage roof with easy access was the ideal location for a solar system sized to the maximum to allow grid feedback tariffs and to supply the multiple high amperage electric car charging points. Further working into the renewable energy systems, electric powered subfloor hydronic heating systems and the heat pump hot water unit make the most of the available energy. A water collection system is also in place to gather and store rainwater from the roof areas for onsite reuse.


Passive sustainability through design was another key focus for our clients. A lightweight & highly insulated timber wall, suspended first floor and roof structure was used to enable quick, efficient construction with minimal wastage. The ground floor slab and a large internal feature masonry wall are designed to act as a thermal mass energy bank during temperature swings outside and help maintain a comfortable environment indoors with a minimal amount of additional energy input. All exposed windows have awnings to protect from excessive solar intake and the vast majority of glazing is north facing. Operable louvres to the outdoor living area allow for daily and seasonal concealment and exposure to suit the conditions at hand and allow year round use.