Castlecrag Twin Houses
Located in the renowned Burley Griffin Conservation area of Castlecrag, two undeveloped sites which formed part of School Campus yard, were acquired by the homeowners for the construction of the two new residences. Both sites-which sit directly opposite a heritage-listed house designed by Walter Burley Griffin- were almost flat, with randomly exposed sandstone rock and overgrown with endemic bushes and trees.
The client’s brief was for two houses to be designed, one on each block, which would be similar in appearance but different in their layout in order to meet the needs of two separate families. The houses were designed to complement each other, blend within the existing bush landscape, and allow for most of the mature trees to be retained. The main premise of the design was for the residences to address the street and harmonise with the adjoining Griffin Conservation area and reflect the Walter Burley Griffin design vernacular, which encourages the use of natural materials, overhangs, and flat roofs, designed to be harmonious with the landscape’s dominant horizontal lines.
The massing of each house is derived from four cubes, with two staggered at ground level, and two cubes recessed and staggered over the first. The gap between the two ground floor cubes becomes the house entry access, with the top cube overhanging and providing deep cover to the entry door. The external walls at the ground level are built out of hydra-split sandstone blocks. The top right-hand cubes wall finish is rendered and painted, whilst the top left-hand cubes have western red cedar as the predominant wall finish. The floor finishes on the ground level are of honed limestone tiles, with stained American oak timber slatted flooring used in the lounge room. The external timber deck is of redgum hardwood.