Pedigree Charted

written by:
photos by:
June 17, 2009
Originally published in Act Locally

With an extended family apt to drop by at a moment’s notice, lifelong modernist Hannah Ferguson has a new home that’s all about heritage.

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  Coastal, on a hill, and made from inexpensive materials, the Ferguson house is a catalog of moving surfaces and open rooms.
    Coastal, on a hill, and made from inexpensive materials, the Ferguson house is a catalog of moving surfaces and open rooms.
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  A painting by Aboriginal artist Yinarupa Gibson Nangala hangs in the kitchen, with a barstool from Danish designer Erik Buch in the foreground.
    A painting by Aboriginal artist Yinarupa Gibson Nangala hangs in the kitchen, with a barstool from Danish designer Erik Buch in the foreground.
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  Hannah Ferguson relaxes in her living room. Her daughter Joanna prepares dinner in the open kitchen, behind and above the plywood banquette designed by the architects.
    Hannah Ferguson relaxes in her living room. Her daughter Joanna prepares dinner in the open kitchen, behind and above the plywood banquette designed by the architects.
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  Thin skylights running atop the full length of the staircase illuminate the trip up the side of the house.
    Thin skylights running atop the full length of the staircase illuminate the trip up the side of the house.
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  Joanna Ferguson stands on one of the balconies extending from the guest bedrooms.
    Joanna Ferguson stands on one of the balconies extending from the guest bedrooms.
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  Ferguson’s prized Voido rocking chair is positioned by a living-room window that affords views of the small town and its beach. Designed in 2002 by Ron Arad for Magis, the Voido is blow-molded entirely from polyethylene.
    Ferguson’s prized Voido rocking chair is positioned by a living-room window that affords views of the small town and its beach. Designed in 2002 by Ron Arad for Magis, the Voido is blow-molded entirely from polyethylene.
  • 
  Nick’s father, Glenn Murcutt, insists on banks of sliding windows, louvers, and fly screens to allow for both natural ventilation and wintertime heat retention. Here Neeson and Murcutt opted for something simpler: large custom-made windows by Windoor that push out from below. Operated by a simple hydraulic system, these windows have spotted-gum slats, which allow for privacy. To keep out mosquitoes, the architects used a thin metallic screen from Phoenix Fly Screens to sit flush against the window. Held in place by magnets, it’s easily pulled away for storage in the wintertime.
    Nick’s father, Glenn Murcutt, insists on banks of sliding windows, louvers, and fly screens to allow for both natural ventilation and wintertime heat retention. Here Neeson and Murcutt opted for something simpler: large custom-made windows by Windoor that push out from below. Operated by a simple hydraulic system, these windows have spotted-gum slats, which allow for privacy. To keep out mosquitoes, the architects used a thin metallic screen from Phoenix Fly Screens to sit flush against the window. Held in place by magnets, it’s easily pulled away for storage in the wintertime.
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  Ever the energetic grandmother, Ferguson insisted the house be flexible. In the three guest bedrooms,twin beds are mounted atop a railing system. Pushed together, they form a double bed. When Ferguson wants to accommodate a raft of children, she pushes the twin beds apart, thanks to the rails, with the flick of a finger.
    Ever the energetic grandmother, Ferguson insisted the house be flexible. In the three guest bedrooms,twin beds are mounted atop a railing system. Pushed together, they form a double bed. When Ferguson wants to accommodate a raft of children, she pushes the twin beds apart, thanks to the rails, with the flick of a finger.
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  With serious water restrictions in drought-stricken Australia, Ferguson needed these tanks so that the new bush garden surrounding her house would flourish. Filled with rainwater draining off the roof and snugly set into the south side of the house, her two 1,300-gallon Bluescope tanks also service the toilets and outdoor shower.
    With serious water restrictions in drought-stricken Australia, Ferguson needed these tanks so that the new bush garden surrounding her house would flourish. Filled with rainwater draining off the roof and snugly set into the south side of the house, her two 1,300-gallon Bluescope tanks also service the toilets and outdoor shower.
  • 
  The outdoor shower greets everyone returning from the beach. Ferguson, well versed in the behavior of teenagers, didn’t want them running inside with sandy feet, so a stop under the fresh rainwater shower from Enware is mandatory after a morning in the surf.
    The outdoor shower greets everyone returning from the beach. Ferguson, well versed in the behavior of teenagers, didn’t want them running inside with sandy feet, so a stop under the fresh rainwater shower from Enware is mandatory after a morning in the surf.
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