Built as an add-on to an existing Victorian-era cottage, the multi-award winning Glebe House draws inspiration from the original house while forging its own way forward with interesting interstitial spaces and contrasting materials of concrete and timber.
For Nobbs Radford Architects, the primary focus of this project was interconnections of cloistered spaces and selected framed openings. While the exterior is made almost entirely of concrete, the interior juxtaposes concrete with timber elements designed to define internal zones and functions within the house.
“Our work reinterprets certain aspects of the original in terms of utilising a heavy material in concrete with an emphasis on narrow openings and thickened walls, and then takes the load bearing of the original house and inverts this with loads now seemingly having been reduced to a fine line between these heavy elements,” said the architects.
“This was an important distinction for us between the old and new and pushing the concept of what the material could achieve as opposed to a traditional approach.”
One of the house’s most distinctive features is the depth of its rear façade, which acts as a centralising space that connects other areas of the house. Various interstitial spaces appear throughout the house to give it balance through its interior and exterior.
Glebe House was designed with the aim to create a family home that recognises the various needs of its occupants – spaces for children and adults with flexibility for both retreat and engagement.
The project has won a number of awards, including the Small Building Award from the Association of Consulting Structural Engineers in 2013, the Award for Small Projects from the Institution of Structural Engineers (UK) in 2014, the NSW State Award for Excellence and National Award for Excellence from the Concrete Institute of Australia in 2015.