STUMPY GULLY HOUSE (2022)
winner - residential new over $1m - architeam awards 2023
collaboration with adam markowitz from markowitzdesign
Project architect: NICOLE HENDERSON
PHOTOGRAPHY & styling
PIER CARTHEW with JESS KNEEBONE
ROSS BAKKER: contractor
CALYPSO CABINETS: joinery
NEPEAN BUILDING PERMITS: building surveyor
LANDSCAPE DESIGN: JO FERGUSON
STUMPY GULLY HOUSE is a FINELY CRAFTED APPROACH TO A FAMILY HOME THAT SUGGESTS AN ALTERNATIVE, SENSITIVE APPROACH TO DEVELOPMENT IN COASTAL VILLAGES, DRAWING ON MID-CENTURY AND jAPANESE REFERENCES
this family house, located in thE coastaL hamlet of Balnarring on victoria's mornington peninsula on UNCEDED boon wurrung country, exhibits a considered approach designed to nestle sensitively into a village context. stumpy gully house ATTEMPTS a more sensitive way to engage with a site in an area undergoing suburbanisation, strongly considerate of street frontage and architectural form and passive solar design.
The project is a collaboration between us and markowitzdesign, led by adam markowitz.
WHILE NEWER HOUSES IN THE STREET ARE SITED FULL WIDTH WITH MINIMUM SETBACK, STUMPY GULLY HOUSE PROPOSES AN APPROACH MORE CONSISTENT WITH OLDER PATTERNS OF DEVELOPMENT IN BALNARRING, OFFERING A BUSHY FRONTAGE TO THE STREET. INSTEAD OF THE INCESSANT DOUBLE GARAGE STREET FRONTAGE OF NEIGHBOURING DEVELOPMENTS, A LINEAR PLAN OPENS THE ENTIRE HOUSE TO THE NORTHERN ASPECT ALONG THE SIDE BOUNDARY, RATHER THAN THE WESTERN “BACK” YARD. THIS LINEAR LANDSCAPED YARD, FEATURING LANDSCAPES BY JO FERGUSON, RUNS THE FULL LENGTH OF THE HOUSE. INSTEAD OF THE BIG AUSSIE BACKYARD, IT’S THE BIG AUSSIE SIDE YARD.
“our initial concept sketches showed a family playing backyard cricket - with wheelie bin wicket - along this space to communicate the idea of this long, flowing outdoor landscape that linked all of the key internal spaces”
The clients, a young growing family, were looking for a family home that would evolve to accommodate their family as it expanded, aged and matured. They wanted to be able to supervise young children while accommodating and allowing privacy separation as the children grew up and needed their own space. The linear plan achieves this by linking a succession of living spaces which flow out seamlessly into the northern outdoor landscape. These spaces are punctuated by perpendicular timber lined walls, which visually slip through the external northern glazed wall to create a series of privacy baffles both internally and externally.
The entry has been located at the midpoint rather than the typical “front door” to deliver you centrally to the living space, eschewing long corridors and maximising circulation efficiency. The entry procession leads to an arrival space that looks out through a large glazed window onto the southern courtyard, drawing you through to the central living space.
The living space, central to the house, is completely open through glazing to the north - large stacking timber doors allow this space to be completely opened up in warmer months. A quiet, cool courtyard is located to the south of the kitchen, and provides a respite space in summer, with custom steel plate breakfast bar accessed through a servery window from the kitchen.
A corridor leading to three children’s bedrooms has been widened to create a rumpus area with direct access to north light and the landscaped area, with custom joinery cleverly activating this space to create a TV and display area with cork wall for pictures, and a linear daybed & desk to the north side, with roll away toy boxes.
On the opposite eastern end of the house, the parents bedroom looks out onto a private garden demarcated by baffle walls, allowing for respite from the noise of growing children. This private garden view is shared by the ensuite featuring a Japanese onsen-style timber bathtub
“You’ve designed a house like a piece of furniture!”
External cedar cladding is brought into the interior to define the flow of the baffle walls from the outside to the inside, and create the connection and flow from the exterior to interior. Soft eucalypt greens and warm neutrals define key living spaces. Dark stained Victorian Blackbutt contrasts against the lighter paint tones to define the structural hardwoods internally, drawing reference to Japanese and Arts & Crafts references, as does the use of pebbledash render on the exterior. Warm toned Victorian Blackwood has been used in key spaces throughout the project, from kitchen cabinetry to custom-made furniture, supported and contrasted by lighter recycled Victorian Blackbutt timber. The interior colour palette of greens and warm whites was designed to complement the warm timber tones. At times it is playful, with pops of colour and earthy terrazzo tiles enlivening the family bathroom and at times subdued, with whites, living brass and earthy greys in the onsen inspired ensuite.
A number of adam Markowitz’s craft pieces have been integrated into this project, crafted from Victorian Blackwood to match the kitchen joinery, including the Flea Chairs and Fred Table in the dining room, and the Plane Bed (first designed for Peter Stutchbury’s Cabbage Tree House) with custom a headboard and bedside table.
INTEGRAL TO OUR DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION PROCESS IS A STRONG ENGAGEMENT WITH CRAFT - CUSTOM DESIGNED AND BUILT DOOR HARDWARE, PICTURE RAILS AND FURNITURE IN A COLLABORATION BETWEEN THE ARCHITECT AND CRAFTSPEOPLE
A CUSTOM BUTCHER’S BLOCK ISLAND BENCH, MADE FROM SOLID BLACKWOOD (OVER 1000 LITTLE BLACKWOOD END GRAIN BLOCKS WERE GLUED TOGETHER FOR IT!) WITH EXPRESSED CONTRASTING BLACKBUTT LEGS;
CUSTOM HAND CARVED 2.4M HIGH DOOR HANDLES;
AND SMALLER ITEMS THROUGHOUT THE HOUSE SUCH AS CUSTOM PICTURE RAILS, BED HEAD AND LOOSE FURNITURE.
This project was a collaboration between adam markowitz and Stavrias Architecture, working together on design and documentation throughout the project, and is the second project successfully delivered in the productive collaboration between these two practices.