January 1, 2009
With this curvy, glowing form, architect Jesse Judd has rendered the sometimes-harsh Australian bush habitable for his friends and family.
With this curvy, glowing form, architect Jesse Judd has rendered the sometimes-harsh Australian bush habitable for his friends and family.
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Originally appeared in Black, Red, and Green All Over
With this curvy, glowing form, architect Jesse Judd has rendered the sometimes-harsh Australian bush habitable for his friends and family.
With this curvy, glowing form, architect Jesse Judd has rendered the sometimes-harsh Australian bush habitable for his friends and family. Photo by Peter Hyatt.

Building with timber is an Australian tradition. Architect Jesse Judd honored this heritage, but selected recycled or plantation timbers instead of nonrenewable hardwoods from old-growth forests. The house’s interior floors and walls are clad in rotary-cut hoop pine plywood—thin sheets of plantation timber that the builder could bend to fit the curve of the steel portal frames.

Hoop pine is a native Australian timber that’s being planted and harvested as a sustainable building material. It’s very versatile, serving as a durable floor surface as well as a veneer for walls and kitchen joinery. Other joinery elements in the house feature eco-friendly medium-density fiberboard (MDF), which is made from plantation-grown radiata pine, recycled paper, bamboo, and scrap wood.

The deck required a lot of timber, too. Judd used reclaimed turpentine timber from the demolished piers of the old Woolloomooloo Wharf in Sydney. Under the hot Australian sun, the rough-sawn planks have weathered to a soft gray, and after years partially submerged in the blue waters of Sydney Harbor individual planks have warped and swelled to some degree. Judd says it will take a while to settle—and he’s quite happy to wait.

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