Fabricators Autex Windows & Doors selected products from the ThermalHeart range by Architectural Window Systems for a new Kids Pod being built in Merricks, Victoria.

Designed by Warwick Mihaly and Erica Slocombe of Mihaly Slocombe Architects, the Kids Pod was being developed as part of the next phase of the Hill House project to accommodate the clients’ growing coterie of grandchildren.

Based on a cubby house/ tree house theme but on a grander, more robust and more theatrical scale, the Kids Pod was designed as an addition to the main building. The corridor extending out of the existing house travelled along the north edge of a new pavilion. This meant that all circulation space had to be on that side of the building while all rooms had to be on the south side; this wasn’t ideal in terms of the northern light and heat distribution.

The architects decided to separate the areas into rooms if necessary while having the option to open the space up at other times.

According to Warwick, the biggest bits that move are external screens that act as shutters over the windows and are lifted up and down by a series of factory winches embedded in the walls; theatrically inspired red curtains that are drawn out between bedroom spaces and the corridor space and also act as solar block-out blinds; and a big heavy partition that pulls out to create a separation between the two rooms.

The architects also faced a challenge in integrating the windows and the steel framing for the shutters. Timber window frames used in the first phase of the project were unable to stand up to the gusty winds in the area. Looking for a more robust system that would essentially never need painting again, the architects decided on AWS windows, having used the products previously.

Products selected from the AWS ThermalHeart range included Series 726 framing with sashless double hung inserts and a Dulux Custom Black matt powder-coated finish.

Image: Kids Pod featuring AWS ThermalHeart windows