Blackheath Courtyard House / Pearson Architecture
Text description provided by the architects. Perched on the edge of a leafy lane close to the heart of the village center, the linear composition of this Blue Mountains House presents an abstract façade of timber and steel to the street. The streamlined industrial aesthetic references the corrugated iron of rural buildings, with walls extending into branching galvanized steel garden trellises that dissolve into the garden and mesh with the neighboring landscape.
The long and narrow block of land was purchased by the client when it was still densely overgrown with bramble weeds and carpeted in the pine needles of the surrounding established trees. As the weeds were removed and the site opened up, a design brief was developed with our client to create a compact and welcoming home that was modest in its footprint and scale, while able to accommodate regular visits from family and friends keen to escape the city for a break in the mountains.
The house is designed to anchor the new home to the sloping land along the full length of the laneway and present a new face to the neighborhood from its highly visible position. A series of carefully screened courtyards establish connections between each room of the house with the garden. These courtyards offer shade and shelter from the mid-summer sun while admitting generous amounts of natural light into each room in the cooler months.
A double-layer insulated concrete slab with a hydronic heated flooring system creates a solid base for the house. The eastern facade cantilevers out over a low exposed concrete blockwork wall, lifting and connecting the new structure with the streetscape.
Clad in a composition of radially sawn silver-top ash, dark grey corrugated steel, and painted fiber cement sheet, the laneway elevation slowly changes over time with the lightening of the timber and the growth of the vines over the courtyard screens. Subdued hues of green and grey inspired by the forests of the surrounding mountains create contemplative interiors and framed views out to neighboring gardens.
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