by Sunena V MajuFeb 02, 2023
Cashmore House in Connewarre, Australia, designed by Lachlan Shepherd Architects, brings together the aspects of family living and structural requirements in architecture in a contemporary style. The conceptual design references to historical yet modernist architectural principles, whereby living zones and bedrooms operate surrounding a central north-facing courtyard. This helps in capitalising the low-glare northern sunlight that pours in through the open-to-sky central courtyard into all the spaces, while shading the other directions from harsh light during the day.
The initial brief shared with the architects was simple. “The home was to be designed for a builder’s own residence and it was intended to serve as a comfortable space for his family of five. Modernist cues were requested along with an honest approach to material representation,” inform the Australian architecture and design firm Lachlan Shepherd Architects. This led the designers to create a steel gridded framework using concrete and wood as elements of finish and décor, while being true to the structural elements in all its forms.
The design approach is characterised with the courtyard typology, whereby living zones focus inward; to an internal, north-facing courtyard. With the courtyard acting as a centre point of reference, the flow and movement through the spaces has been designed keeping this centrality in mind. The courtyard also shares focus with a heated pool, which doubles both as a water feature along the main passageway and serves as an entertainment area during the warmer months.
A large, open-plan living area is accentuated via highlight glazing, inlaid into structural steel. This approach of full-height glass glazing allows the roof to appear as ‘floating’ above the living room.
“The building’s structure uses large amounts of structural steel, expressed throughout, so one can “read” the building’s skeleton internally as well as externally,” share the architects. Materials such as steel and timber cladding have been utilised both externally and internally, blurring the boundaries of transition and creating a fresh appeal both on the inside as well as the outside.
The home comprises a simple, paired-back palette with a central spine of precast concrete anchoring the building and creating a mass element to contrast the light-weight, expressed-steel skeleton. Further, a refined and raw approach to materiality was applied throughout, with expressed pre-cast concrete panels acting as a structural anchor.
The house poses a reference to courtyard architecture as well as the new ideas of structural design with a modern appeal. Elements have been used in their truest form, giving the house a refreshing, sunlit and contemporary feel.
Name: Cashmore House
Location: Connewarre, Australia
Architects: Lachlan Shepherd Architects
Project size: 375 sqm
Site size: 874 sqm
Completion date: 2019