After years of designing beautiful homes for clients, Sally Wilson from Adelaide-based sw-architects decided to add an extension to her own home. The primary reason for the addition was the need for more space to accommodate a growing family.

As the name ‘Timberland’ suggests, the updated home is largely composed of timber elements, with Australian hardwood featuring prominently both indoors and out.

A standout feature on the 1200m² site was a 65-year-old, 11m tall oak tree, which wasn't visible from inside the existing brick structure. After renovating the front rooms of the 1898 sandstone symmetrical cottage, the focus turned to the major addition. The framework was designed to create a space that would experience the full height of the oak tree from inside the extension. Key requirements in the design brief also included a new practice office for her architectural business as well as a direct view of her two children, not only inside the extension but also when looking out to the backyard.

The simple floor plan has been designed for all main living areas to receive northern aperture and views, while all the wet spaces and services are located on the south. The lack of northern orientation made the architect separate the addition from the rear of the existing house. The offset captures passive sunlight, allows cross flow ventilation and creates a private courtyard for the office.

A variety of Boral Timber products in Blackbutt species has been featured throughout the home.

"We wanted to use Australian hardwood for its colour and durability," commented Wilson. "Timber is such a neutral palette that works with other materials, such as the black aluminium, brick and concrete flooring in our new addition. The continual use of natural timber and raw materials complements the warm feeling of the space."

The strong lines and symmetry of the heritage ‘M roof’ guided the form of the new roofline. This strong profile, defined by a Blackbutt structural timber fascia is the backbone of the addition. The new open plan living room achieves the tallest pitch and extends out over the deck to provide western shading. The roofline is then set back, with the ridge height of the dining and kitchen dropping down 1m, then flattening off completely over the scullery, laundry and garage.

Internally, Boral V-joint boards in Blackbutt horizontally line the pitched ceiling and main wall. The feature grade timber highlights the character of the black gum veins and knots to create a sense of uniqueness. The natural variations in timber make the space look more homely, says Wilson, with only one plasterboard wall in the area. She adds that timber walls are also practical and durable from a family living perspective.

The timber lined ceiling extends beyond the glazed windows, over the covered Blackbutt decking, guiding the view outdoors to the oak tree and expanding the living space to an undercover entertaining platform.

"Timberland has been an evolution of experimentation," remarked Wilson. "A well detailed handcrafted addition that has enhanced the lives of my family. It relies on the simplicity of an efficient plan and raw materials to create a delightful building that has already become an integral part of the landscape in which it has settled."

Completed in January, Timberland received two commendations in the 2018 SA Architecture Awards for the Residential Architecture — Alterations & Additions and Sustainable Architecture categories.

Featured Boral Timber products in Blackbutt species include structural hardwood (fascia), V-joint lining boards (ceiling and wall), and decking (130mm).

Image credit: 'Timberland' sw-architects / Sam Noonan