The built form of the houses has been created through a rigorous design process responding to the onerous site constraints. The subdivision approval for the site imposed a series of highly restrictive building envelopes in order to maintain the integrity of the natural vegetation. These relatively small areas were further restricted by height constraints aimed at preserving longer vistas for existing houses to the rear and side boundaries. These factors, along with the poor ground conditions, vehicular access restrictions and a westerly aspect to the river, literally formed the profiles of the buildings, defining shape and articulation.
The arrangement of spaces within the houses is generally similar and focuses on maximising views to the river and greenery. Ground floors are dedicated to car parking and separate guest suites adjacent to entry spaces. The first floors are occupied by both indoor and outdoor living spaces, inclusive of prefabricated plunge pools complemented by second and third bedrooms ID the rear. Generous areas of full height, openable glazing, force views out ID the river from singular, open plan living spaces within.
Upper floors are dedicated to master bedroom suites with views maintained over roof-scapes to the river and western mountain ranges beyond. Fenestration is composed carefully to maximise views to both the river and the adjacent green spaces. Smaller apertures have been created to provide unique snapshots of prominent trees from unanticipated locations within the buildings.
Building materials have been purposefully kept to a simple and refined palette. The exterior of the buildings are composed of black stained vertical shiplapped pine boards in a range of textures to subtly capture light and shadow. The purity of the black stain and slight variation in the timber texture allows for a strong sense of integration with the dark foliage and trunks of trees on the site. Glazing is kept flush and seamless, utilising a green tint to generate a mirroring of adjacent tree shapes and forms. Careful lighting design allows the building to glow unobtrusively during night hours, minimising the impact of the buildings on the landscape and presenting harmoniously to neighbouring properties.
Interior finishes are also kept simple in both texture and colour, ensuring the emphasis is placed on the environment beyond the buildings, without fuss or distraction. Simple whites and natural timbers dominate, delivering a clean, open plan living environment, unfettered by detail or fuss.
ESD initiatives within the houses include the harvesting of roof water, rainwater for toilet and laundry use, low energy electrical mechanical fittings, high performance glazing and the minimumisation of tree removal on site, through careful building siting.