Lachlan Shepherd Architects use structure as design for Cashmore House in Australia

Focused around a central courtyard, the design of the Cashmore House in Connewarre, Australia, brings light into its spaces, while the structure gives identity to the dwelling.

by Meghna Mehta Published on : Jul 31, 2020

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 living room that welcomes north light through the courtyard | Cashmore House | Lachlan Shepherd Architects | STIRworld
The living room that welcomes north light through the courtyard Image Credit: Courtesy of Ben Hosking

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 expression of concrete, steel and wood in its true form | Cashmore House | Lachlan Shepherd Architects | STIRworld
    The expression of concrete, steel and wood in its true form Image Credit: Courtesy of Ben Hosking
  • Northern light pouring into the house | Cashmore House | Lachlan Shepherd Architects | STIRworld
    Northern light pouring into the house Image Credit: Courtesy of Ben Hosking

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.

The external façade of the house with a structural appearance | Cashmore House | Lachlan Shepherd Architects | STIRworld
The external façade of the house with a structural appearance Image Credit: Courtesy of Ben Hosking

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 kitchen and dining area | Cashmore House | Lachlan Shepherd Architects | STIRworld
The kitchen and dining area Image Credit: Courtesy of Ben Hosking

“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 bedroom designed with a modern appeal | Cashmore House | Lachlan Shepherd Architects | STIRworld
    The bedroom designed with a modern appeal Image Credit: Courtesy of Ben Hosking
  • The swimming pool and the exterior material façade | Cashmore House | Lachlan Shepherd Architects | STIRworld
    The swimming pool and the exterior material façade Image Credit: Courtesy of Ben Hosking

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 swimming pool and the courtyard through the full height glazing | Cashmore House | Lachlan Shepherd Architects | STIRworld
    The swimming pool and the courtyard through the full height glazing Image Credit: Courtesy of Ben Hosking
  • The entrance to the Cashmore House: structural steel and concrete used in its raw form | Cashmore House | Lachlan Shepherd Architects | STIRworld
    The entrance to the Cashmore House: structural steel and concrete used in its raw form Image Credit: Courtesy of Ben Hosking

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.

Project Details

Name: Cashmore House
Location: Connewarre, Australia
Architects: Lachlan Shepherd Architects
Project size: 375 sqm
Site size: 874 sqm
Completion date: 2019   

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