A Crisp, New Home Rises Around an Existing Pool in Australia
Australian architect Salvador Farrajota teamed up with his friend Brayden Larkin, founder of builder Zephyr Industries, to help him and his wife Jess create a simple, low-maintenance, 4,090-square-foot family home that’s ideal for entertaining their family and friends.
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The Larkins found the site in the Brisbane surburb of Wavell Heights. It had an existing cottage, located close to the street, with a large setback at the northern boundary that was ideal for subdividing—and able to accommodate a new build at the rear.
"Once subdivided, we were left with two pad levels to work with, as the rear section of the site was raised with an existing pool," says Larkin. "The new house was to be designed split-level, and around this pool."
The new program now includes large, open-plan living and entertainment spaces oriented towards the pool; a separate, private area for the bedrooms; and a large garage.
"The house itself is almost completely hidden form the street; however, the black driveway, entry gate, and street signage denote their own section of streetscape, drawing the eye down the long access driveway to the two-story, weatherboard- and timber-clad form of the gym and guest bedroom above," says Farrajota.
Timeless and cost-effective materials like concrete and timber combine with white surfaces on the interior, complementing the simplicity of the facade.
Forty-six feet of bi-fold glazing fully open up the living spaces and bar to the existing pool and lawn. Though surrounded by neighboring houses, the site itself enjoys a good level of privacy thanks to palm trees to the north and west.
According to Farrajota, the floor plan resulted from a simple and logical allocation of spaces: public areas are located on the existing, raised pool pad; the garage and service areas sit on the ground level; and the private rooms are above the service areas, separate but connected to the public areas via a concrete-and-timber entry stairway.
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Structural and civil engineering: BG Group
Landscape, lighting, cabinetry, and interior design: The Artificial and Zephyr Industries
Artwork: Leigh Gordon