Aru House | Curious Practice

Weatherboard cottages built in the first half of the twentieth century were often generous at the front and restricted at the rear, with their relationship to prevailing breezes, appropriate orientation and gardens being a low priority. Aru House (Awabakal word for “insect”) plugs-in a series of carefully balanced sensory amplifiers and connectors to just such a cottage in order for a long-ignored sense of place to re-emerge.

These sympathetic augmentations to the existing dwelling allow the building to become responsive to seasonal living patterns with a newfound sense of contextual sensitivity. All the new, and old, programs of the house overlap and borrow from each other, becoming more flexible and generous, enabling efficient planning and an ability to focus on quality over quantity. As a result, the value of the project is measured in joy and delight through the way materials are crafted, light is choreographed and edges are blurred.

Karen’s Place | Studio Dot

‘Karen’s Place’ is a project born from the client’s desire to leave a legacy for her children. In its more recent years, the circa 1885-1886 terrace endured an earthquake, a rebuild and the raising of two young boys. With her sons now adults, the client sought to remove the existing rear two-storey wing which, due to a poorly executed reconstruction after the 1989 earthquake, was damp, dark, mouldy and in need of light and ventilation. The new addition constructed on the same footprint reused 10,000 salvaged bricks (from demolition) and afforded the client a new kitchen, dining space, bedroom and bathroom/laundry. An additional outdoor bathroom and storage space services sandy family and friends returning from the beach. A strong connection to garden spaces has been established and thermal mass, highly insulated building envelope and double-glazed timber windows create a comfortable and healthy space for the client to enjoy.

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