V House, Australia

V House / Shaun Lockyer Architects


The V House design employs a simple ‘courtyard home’ concept, with the house embracing the irregular-shaped site boundaries to leverage the north-east orientation to the courtyard and connect to the water’s edge on the south (the ‘V’ stemming from the resultant plan form).

The planning creates an entry sequence starting at the street and establishing a transparent spine to the primary living spaces which hug the southern edge of the property. This decision is driven by the desire to create a transparent living pavilion that engages directly with the water’s edge while simultaneously embracing the north-eastern pool and courtyard area. A predominant building form is, in turn, created on the first floor, where the private bedrooms and a snooker / games room enjoy a landscaped roof-top terrace on the northern edge accessible from the courtyard below via a sculptural steel spiral stair.

This main pavilion is deliberately setback from the street to open the north-east corner to the light and garden in turn. The scale of the house is very much compatible with the adjoining homes with the narrow edge of the home presenting to the street and the bulk of the house built to the rear along the south. However, it deliberately subverts the domestic paradigm of small windows and traditional roof form, opting instead for a screened facade and hidden roof forms expressive of a modern, subtropical architecture.

The house instead presents to the street as a stone-clad, heavily-landscaped form in a non-conventional way. The highly animated timber screen presents as a Japanese lantern by night offering a pleasant and warm edge to the public realm. Robust, highly durable materials intended to weather will hopefully offer a more sustainable long-term alternative to the typical housing typology in the area.

This is a robust, hardwearing home intended to gracefully age and limit maintenance. The timber rain screen offers shade, protection and security responding to the sub-tropical context. Deep eaves, excellent cross-flow ventilation, thermal mass and a naturally lighting make for a very sustainable long-term proposition. Solar power, battery storage, low-E glazing, LED lighting and FSC hardwoods complete our approach to creating a relevant and enduring home.

The V House is a holiday house that will become the permanent home for the owners, so it needed to traverse the needs of a flexible and changing brief. The resultant outcome directly responds to their immediate and long-term needs, and while the house is large, it has a human scale and intimacy which allows smaller groups to feel comfortable in the space.


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