Schulberg Demkiw Architects
Lignapal 168.02 Sawn Oak natural timber veneer
Positioned in Melbourne’s tightly-knit beachside neighborhood of Elwood, the residence’s timber silhouette bursts out of a small plot of land like a piece of joinery in-between the neighboring properties. Cleverly designed by Schulberg Demkiw Architects for a young family of four, the residence capitalises on every segment of available space. The result is a warm and homely dwelling that offers a sense of openness and simplicity.
While the well-insulated envelope of the house ensures privacy, the thoughtful incorporation of courtyards, windows and skylights generates an interior that’s bright, spacious, functional and well-ventilated. This multifunctional two-bedroom home spans three floors. The spacious living quarters take up the whole ground floor, with the two bedrooms hidden away on the top floor. The fully habitable basement has been designed as a media room and a working nook. All three levels are connected by a beautiful timber stairway. Its unique design is a beautiful vehicle for natural light and provides a visual link to the outer shell of the house, with the timber batten look of the staircase seamlessly reflected in the raked wooden form of the outside walls and ceilings.
In a restrained expression of considered materiality, omnipresent timber has been combined with the robust form of concrete. The result is a clean, cohesive and pared back space. The generous use of wood throughout the house envelops the interiors with a warm veil, with George Fethers’ flooring playing a crucial role in generating this inviting yet elevated visual outcome.
The warm tones of the Lignapal Sawn Oak natural timber veneer fit perfectly with other timber elements within the space, delivering an incredibly coherent, natural and refined look. The wood’s unpretentious character provides an exquisite, toned down contrast to the light-grey shades of the concrete walls. At the same time, the irregularity of the knots visible throughout the floor establishes a delicate yet noticeable dialogue with the repeated pattern of the tie holes across the concrete slabs. The panels’ stunning grain emphasises the rich materiality while heightening the calming appeal of the organic, naturally occurring patterns.
However, the selection of materials at the Beach Avenue dwelling isn’t motivated solely by their undeniably striking beauty. Both timber and concrete play a crucial role in achieving the environmental ambitions of the clients. The concrete walls and flooring enable passive heating and cooling as their thermal mass releases stored heat up to the bedrooms during the night. Further increasing the project’s environmental credentials, all timber used within the residence has been sourced in a considered manner – either from sustainable plantations or recycled.
This considered selection of refined and rich materials generates a beautiful, functional and environmentally aware family home that proves that big things come in small packages.
Photography by Derek Swalwell
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SAWN OAK 168.02LignapalPanels