Home' Scoop Homes and Art : Insite 28 Autumn 2011 Contents 148 INSITE AUTUMN 2011
shutters are used at the rear of the home. The
glass doors and shutters are attached to the
exterior, so can be opened up completely.
The shutters, while strikingly simple, work
hard during summer: they can darken the
space and can be locked, so breezes can come
through at night. “It is about enjoying the
natural environment; you can control how
much breeze you get through,” says Philip.
In this area of the home, walls are finished
in polished plaster, which not only lends a
cooling element, but also a sophisticated
surface. “Polished plaster is made of ground
marble... so it’s plaster dust. It’s not a painted
surface. It’s natural,” explains Philip. “It’s
soft, which allows the house to have such
modern lines, but not feel cold and alienating.
And because we didn’t want to drill holes in
such a beautiful surface, we’ve integrated a
hanging system. Pictures can be hung
without drilling holes and can be moved.”
An ensuite and guest bathroom – both
with huge skylights rather than windows
plus a guest bedroom, study and laundry
(tucked in a cupboard) extend along the rear
of the home. In the connecting space between
the private and public zones, stairs lead down
to the garage, where light fills the space thanks
to a polycarbonate garage door. Here, there’s
space for that workbench, plus watertanks,
which provide for the garden and pond, and
a lift that travels up into the kitchen.
It’s back up in this lifestyle pavilion that you
can feel and appreciate this home’s beauty.
Here, tonal subtleties bring a calmness to the
space, and that indoor-outdoor sensibility
keeps it connected to its surrounds.
However, the last word must go to Philip’s
mother. “Joyous,” she says of her experience
of living in the house. “It’s happy. In winter,
you can have a heavy storm through here and
you are protected with the double glazing. In
summer, your eyes go to the ocean and the
passing sea traffic. When I am away, I feel
happy when returning home. It’s a lovely
place to come back to... I couldn’t be happier,
and there isn’t anything where I think,
‘Damn, I should have done this or that.’” I
Philip points to the shutters as his favourite design element:
“ They deal with cross-ventilation, light, solar gain and they express
the thickness of the walls.” BELOW A view from the kitchen to
the courtyard. Past the stairs are the private rooms.
Philip Vivian shares his design secrets
The home’s biggest success? The steel roof. It is
working hard up there, cantilevering six metres out
[into the courtyard] and hanging all the heavy doors.
So, the pavilion just peels open very easily and naturally
and gives a very open feel.
Thoughts on big versus small homes? It is more about
well-designed spaces that work for what you need.
[This house] is particularly good for a retired couple
whose children have left home and who don’t want a lot
of space to clean or maintain. It’s just a small, modest
house, but it works perfectly for their needs. But having
said that, they can have a party here for over 60 people.
How do you control the temperature? The whole
house is cross-ventilated – everything is recessed in
to keep things as clean and open as possible. They do
have an air-conditioning system, however, against my
wishes! And every room has a fan. There is underfloor
heating throughout the house – that’s why we used
stone because it warms and radiates into the space.
Why the thick walls? It gives you thermal mass [the
walls are 400mm thick]. It can be very hot outside, but
cool on the inside. It’s a heavy, thick, compact rammed
material. And we haven’t tried to disguise how it is made,
we’ve left the markings of its makings, so that you can
understand what the materials are all about.
What is the purpose of the curtains? There is a
huge overhang, so you don’t need screening from the
sun. It is just that at night glass can be quite cold, not
literally... but there is that feeling of cold, reflective
surfaces. You draw them at night and you are wrapped
in a nice, sumptuous room.
Project highlight? I think the nicest part was the fact
that my mother had an unerring faith in what I was
doing. She just said, ‘I trust what you are doing and I
want you to realise your vision.’ It was very supportive
and quite delightful in how open she was to what is
clearly a very modern home.
CONTACTS Bates Smart (02) 8354 5100, www.batessmart.com.au
Mobilia (08) 9284 5599, mobilia.com.au .
Links Archive Insite 27 Summer 2010 SHA 29 Winter 2011 Navigation Previous Page Next Page