House Design | Diverse materials and a mural give the Charred Timber House a distinctive streetscape

DISTINCTIVE: From its mural covered carport to its stepped backyard, the Charred Timber home features many diverse materials and layers. Photos: Ben King Photography.
DISTINCTIVE: From its mural covered carport to its stepped backyard, the Charred Timber home features many diverse materials and layers. Photos: Ben King Photography.

Known as the Charred Timber House, this is a robust family home, designed over a series of levels that follow the steep slope of the block in the Canberra suburb of Ainslie.

Its signature exterior elements are the Shou Sugi Ban cladding, which was beautifully installed by the owner, and a recycled hardwood slatted screen to the carport, which was made from the roof battens of the original cottage.

The textures of the recycled and charred timber provide a contrast to the rest of the house which is clad in Zincalume custom orb cladding.

In addition to the main house, the carport has its own point of interest in the mural painted on its exterior by artist Claire Foxton.

The whimsical artwork features a large child-like face with hair that becomes a montage of native flora in blues, reds, which complement the green of the plants behind it and the lushness of the grass verge.

The mural provides a point of social interaction between the house and the pedestrian path that sits adjacent to it.

On entering the house, the burnished concrete floor cascades across the split levels, while the raked ceiling follows the stepping up of the house.

The first level holds the bedrooms and service areas, from which the timber and concrete steps take you to the central, light-filled living space.

This central zone links to the backyard, with the carefully walled landscaping mirrors the stepping of the house inside.

The large sliding doors on this level seamlessly lead to a pergola structure defining the outside living zone. This indoor-outdoor living space is perfect for entertaining and large family gatherings.

The last level of the home features a secondary living space and master suite.

The finishes of the house compliment the interior form by being kept minimal, with white and timber joinery adding to the lightness of the spaces.

The house's solar passive design delivers northerly light into all living areas and bedrooms, while carefully located southerly windows allow for cross ventilation.

The house is fully wrapped and insulated, and the use of double-glazed thermally broken windows and integrated solar capability add to the minimisation of power usage.

Delivered with attention to affordability, longevity and low-maintenance, this home blends practical solutions with designed elegance.

  • Produced with BowerBird
  • Rob Henry of Rob Henry Architects
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