From the architect:
The concept for the Inside Outside House seeks to express the site as a room to inhabit. A clear glass box forms on the ground floor, and a simplified cantilevered box form hovering above employs architectural design solutions to blur the boundaries between what is inside and outside. The walls of the glass box retract into wall cavities allowing the living and dining spaces of this house to expand beyond to the boundary walls, thus blurring the distinction between internal and external spaces.
A series of slender columns support the cantilever structure above giving a sense of a floating box. The ceiling formed by the cantilevered box form sits relatively low above the ground, to encourage the spaces to spill out horizontally thereby perceiving a much wider spaces. Privacy is maintained to the lower living area by a screen brick wall, with perforations to provide outlook, but at the same time obscure the view from the street. Service and circulation spaces are tucked neatly away towards the back interior of the house.
The cantilevered box houses the more private residential living space and bedrooms. Generous side setbacks provide distinction from the adjacent neighbour structures, while contemporary detailing and homogenous materials for the vertical and underside cladding allows the box to be read as a simplified form. Towards the street, the box extrudes out to encase a double volume space to the lower front court. A series of vertical battens on either side of the extrusion act as screens to filter and direct the view outwards.
The structure has been deliberately designed to frame the view horizontally out towards the sky and Norfolk pines (an icon of the locality), while filtering out the views of pedestrians and vehicle traffic. Towards the back, a secondary courtyard nestles adjacent to second sitting room, laundry and garage with the ability to open the spaces out to create a large indoor-outdoor space.
The Inside Outside house embodies sustainable design principles, resulting in built forms that achieve optimum passive design with considerations to prevailing winds and solar access. The upper level, a cantilevering box form, in essence acts as a large shading device to reduce solar gain to the lower level. The lower living area in turn is treated as an expansive inside to outside space that is pleasant to occupy. In the extremes of summer and colder winter months, the lower level can be enclosed by a double glazed, thermally-broken skin which regulates temperature and minimises reliance on mechanical air-conditioning.
Products and systems were specified with a built-to-last approach. Painted areas were minimised through the use of prefinished cladding (raw cement sheeting, face brickwork) and use low VOC paints, while cabinetry is constructed from GreenTagCert boards. Low energy LED lighting on sensor systems have been used throughout.