Living Screen House

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  • 2018

  • Architectural Design
    Commercial and Residential

Designed By:

  • CplusC Architectural Workshop

Commissioned By:

Private Client

Designed In:

Australia

A single-family residence on a narrow site, Living Screen House is a stunning home built for entertaining, featuring a unique lap-pool abutting double height social spaces which spills out to the rear BBQ area. Planted, green walls screen the front and side façades providing privacy and a sense of retreat.


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  • The challenge was to provide a home which could be both a springboard for entertaining and a private family retreat. A key requirement of the brief was to make it easier for the inhabitants to do the things they love, including entertaining at home and surfing at nearby Bondi Beach. The narrow site is overlooked by neighbouring double storey houses and low-rise apartment blocks, creating significant privacy challenges which were addressed by wrapping the home in green walls. This ‘screen’ forms an outlook, with each space either looking out onto garden or onto the water body of the pool.

  • The site constraints (a narrow site with overlooking issues) and the practice’s commitment to passive solar design drove much of the resulting form. The planning of the house is organised horizontally into social spaces downstairs with private spaces above. The kitchen, living, dining and outdoor spaces are located to optimise solar access. The acrylic wall between the pool and the lounge refracts natural light into the double height spaces, interlacing indoor and outdoor. Upstairs each bedroom enjoys an outlook onto outdoor green space. In some cases, this is onto a vertical garden, which doubles as a privacy screen from neighbours.

  • Living Screen House features predominantly raw, low embodied energy materials throughout with 10,000 litres of rainwater storage and a massive 10KW solar system on the roof. CplusC reused materials from the existing house to provide the new home with a sense of connection to the previous residence. The front carpark was retained as removing concrete would be both costly and a waste of materials. Timber from the demolition stage was recycled into furniture. Since handover, the family have hosted a 21st birthday party, family Christmas and many impromptu barbeques with friends, reporting that their expectations were exceeded.

  • In Living Screen House there are no interior experiences without exterior experiences, thresholds are simultaneously created and dissolved as you move through the volume. Walls are replaced with operable parts, such as doors and windows, and views out and in are onto gardens which change as the year progresses. Due to its beachside location, practical storage for sports equipment was provided at the entry making it easier to grab a surfboard and head to the beach after work or school. CplusC Architectural Workshop was responsible for both architectural design and the construction of the project. The craftsmanship of the build is elegantly revealed in the material palette, which includes cement composite boards and burnished concrete. Expressed steel and timber columns expose the structural systems in the house whereas typically these systems are concealed. While a transparent swimming pool may seem like a novel addition to some, Living Screen House was designed with celebration at its core. This focus on celebrating with family and friends creates a home that the children will want to return to and that friends wish to visit for many years to come. This elevates novelty from folly to a unique, joyful experience.