archier recycles 270 concrete blocks to create sawmill house in australia
photography by benjamin hosking
images courtesy of archier

 

 

 

perched on a hill edge in yackandandah, australia, ‘sawmill house’ by melbourne-based studio- archier explores the possibility of reusing discarded concrete that goes to waste each year. working together with the client, the structure utilized 270 one-tonne concrete blocks to craft the perimeter walls of the horizontal, flat-roofed property. resulting in the varying of textures across the façades, the material choice reflects the sedimentary layers of earth still seen from the site’s previous programs.

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the site was previously an old sawmill which had been in remission since the late 1990s

 

 

 

exercising cost-effective and sustainable techniques, large sections of the roof and cladding is mechanized with pivoting glass walls and bespoke detailing. designed for a young family of three, the linear, open-plan interiors is wrapped in timber and complemented with a brass wall that discretely hides storage and utility space. the master bedroom has been integrated with a private courtyard on the east end of the property, as for the communal spaces, the timber shuttering opens fully to reveal a decked veranda. by seamlessly blending the internal and external boundaries, the entire property is constantly immersed in the surrounding nature, sunlight and sky.

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the decked veranda presents sweeping views of the scenery

 

 

 

‘large operable veranda, screens and doors transform the space to suit various climatic and social conditions, which is crucial to our family who must operate in a diverse and sometimes extreme climate, and direct our home through a spectrum of private retreat to communal hub. importantly, the civic nature of the design allows the building to function as a design office with a fantastic aspect’the client, benjamin gilbert

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the open-plan interiors is versatile and adaptable to the family’s needs

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 the project has won two awards including the victorian architecture awards 2015

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the highly operable envelope takes advantage of the local breeze that travels up the valley towards the house

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the brass wall is comprised of storage and kitchen appliances

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the master bedroom opens up to a private courtyard via a large pivoting door

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passively cool is effective in the summer months with crossflow ventilation

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the untreated rough sawn macrocarpa screens reference the site’s recent history and will age naturally

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the private courtyard entered through the master bedroom

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comprised of 270 one tonne concrete blocks, the scheme re-uses concrete that would otherwise be discarded

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the process investigated highly bespoke yet cost effective alternatives

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the concrete and material palette gives the structure varying textures

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the sawmill house