Blurring the lines between indoors and outdoors, the Inside Outside House in Cottesloe, Western Australia, has the feel of a floating box. DUO chatted with Craig Steere Architects to discover how they achieved this modern marvel.
Q. WHAT WAS THE BRIEF FOR THIS HOUSE?
A. The client wanted to challenge the fixed boundaries of space — blurring the distinction between interior and exterior. They were keen to employ multiple-use spaces and separate the building mass from adjoining structures for greater comfort and privacy.
Q. WHAT ARE THE HOME’S SUSTAINABILITY FEATURES?
A. The upper level acts as a large shading device to reduce solar gain to the lower level. In the extremes of summer and colder winter months, the lower level can be enclosed by a double glazed skin that regulates temperature, minimising the need for air-conditioning. Painted areas were minimised through the use of pre-finished cladding (raw cement sheeting, face brickwork) and the use of low VOC paints, while the cabinetry is constructed from GreenTagCert boards. Low-energy LED lighting on sensor systems have also been used throughout.
Q. HOW DOES THE DESIGN RESPOND TO THE BUILDING SITE?
A. To maximise the expanse of a narrow lot home, the concept considers the entire site as a ‘room’ with the ceiling of the lower level relatively low to create a feeling of horizontal expanse. The walls of the glass box retract into wall cavities allowing the living and dining spaces to expand beyond to the boundary walls, blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor spaces. The upper-level projects beyond the main bedroom to provide an alfresco experience to the front courtyard.
Q. HOW DID YOU COLLABORATE WITH OTHER CONSULTANTS?
A. We worked together with a landscape architect to ensure there was enough planting depth along boundaries to create ‘green walls’. We also liaised with the structural engineer to achieve a large front cantilever that frames views from the main bedroom and encapsulates an outdoor alfresco.
Q.WHAT FEEDBACK DID YOU RECEIVE FROM THE CLIENTS?
A. Our clients had us over for dinner when they were settled into the house and said they couldn’t bring themselves to build another house again because this one was so perfect.