Wooden Screens Shade This Sustainable Melbourne Residence

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By Michele Koh Morollo
A renovation and addition clad in operable, wooden screens turn an Edwardian in Camberwell into a breezy home that's strongly connected to the outdoors.

In the Melbourne suburb of Camberwell, local practice WARC Studio was commissioned to add new living areas to an Edwardian residence with a rear western aspect that exposes it to harsh sunlight. 

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WARC Studio founder Andrew Wilson came up with a design solution that would open up the interiors to the garden and pool, but still protect the home from the harsh afternoon sun from the west.

WARC Studio founder Andrew Wilson came up with a design solution that would open up the interiors to the garden and pool, but still protect the home from the harsh afternoon sun from the west.

A new addition with a steel structure clad in hardwood screens was created at the rear of the house. 

A new addition with a steel structure clad in hardwood screens was created at the rear of the house. 

The owners asked for new common spaces with improved connectivity to the back garden and swimming pool. 

The owners asked for new common spaces with improved connectivity to the back garden and swimming pool. 

The addition has a skin of hardwood screens that offer protection from sunlight arriving from the north and west. The screens provide shade and privacy while still revealing views of the outdoor area and the pool.

The addition has a skin of hardwood screens that offer protection from sunlight arriving from the north and west. The screens provide shade and privacy while still revealing views of the outdoor area and the pool.

 Wilson used a series of operable wooden screens to mitigate the strong western light. 

 Wilson used a series of operable wooden screens to mitigate the strong western light. 

The owners also wanted better internal circulation, and upgrades for the existing rooms.

The owners also wanted better internal circulation, and upgrades for the existing rooms.

The walls, ceilings, windows, and cabinetry were all strategically positioned to unveil views to the outdoors. 

The walls, ceilings, windows, and cabinetry were all strategically positioned to unveil views to the outdoors. 

Sustainable features include locally and sustainably harvested Victorian hardwood with low VOC finishes and formaldehyde-free plywood.

Sustainable features include locally and sustainably harvested Victorian hardwood with low VOC finishes and formaldehyde-free plywood.

The eco-friendly home is equipped with rainwater harvesting, hydronic heating, and a compost and vegetable garden.

The eco-friendly home is equipped with rainwater harvesting, hydronic heating, and a compost and vegetable garden.

Plenty of white finishes give the interiors a clean, bright look.

Plenty of white finishes give the interiors a clean, bright look.

Upon entering the house, one immediately sees right through to the rear garden from the main corridor.

Upon entering the house, one immediately sees right through to the rear garden from the main corridor.

In winter, the wooden screens can be opened to draw in the warm, afternoon sun.

In winter, the wooden screens can be opened to draw in the warm, afternoon sun.

A series of views unfolds as one moves from the entrance to the rear of the house: first of the northern garden framed by cabinetry, then slivers of sky seen through a strip skylight, followed by views of trees through clerestory windows, and then screened views to the western outdoor areas.

A series of views unfolds as one moves from the entrance to the rear of the house: first of the northern garden framed by cabinetry, then slivers of sky seen through a strip skylight, followed by views of trees through clerestory windows, and then screened views to the western outdoor areas.

The screens help control sunlight penetration and passive solar radiation.

The screens help control sunlight penetration and passive solar radiation.

Wilson also incorporated high levels of insulation and double glazing to make the house energy efficient.

Wilson also incorporated high levels of insulation and double glazing to make the house energy efficient.

Floor plan drawing

Floor plan drawing

Project Credits

Architecture, interior and cabinetry design: Warc Studio Architects

Builder: Abishara Mclindin

Structural engineering: Structplan

Energy raters: Blue Lotus Energy Rating

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