Grand Designs Australia

Faraday Aussie Bush House

Resident architecture expert, David Hallett from Ask An Architect, gives us his opinion on the Faraday Aussie Bush House from Episode 10, Season 5 of Grand Designs Australia.

There’s a special poignancy about a building that’s conceived and constructed as a tribute to someone…a building that becomes part of their legacy.

This building is far from being a hollow monument, though. It’s alive with the forces of nature – light and shade; wet and dry; fire and frost – and it’s a celebration of Matt’s commitment, perseverance and dedication to a project that challenged him from its muddy beginning until its sunny end.

He learned lots and so did we.

Many building elements are pre-fabricated these days like roof trusses, wall frames, cabinets, windows and door frames. Factory-built walls, floors and cladding systems are commonplace in the commercial sector as well. Off-site construction can save time and money with the added advantage of high quality and consistency.

Such an approach is perfect for repetitive designs such as an office or apartment building, but does it lend itself to a hand-made shed? In the right hands it does. Matt has leavened the factory production of his portal frames with some on-site labour to create a structure that reflects the strength and beauty of the trees he loves.

Ultimately though, building elements have to fit together and it’s a credit to the team that the factory-built frames met the site-poured footings so precisely!

It’s always interesting to see such a clear expression of contemporary planning.

Family homes are no longer conceived as having just living and sleeping zones. Homes these days typically have three zones – parent’s sleeping/study/relaxation; children’s sleeping/play/study and family cooking/eating/living.

Expressing these three zones as pavilions isn’t for everyone but in this case it works beautifully, creating a ‘camp’ of interconnected sheds that evokes the spirit of local miners and shearers.

Cost Control
Cost control will always be one of the greatest challenges facing an owner-builder, so you have to love an accountant’s approach – a spreadsheet that one suspects was scrutinized daily!

Construction expenses aren’t hard to manage but diligence is required to ensure that the end-cost is close to the starting price. A little flexibility will always be required, but too little control can end in disaster.

This building draws together a love of land, heritage and family with a shed-like exterior that connects it with its environment and a church-like interior that provides a place for contemplation and reminiscence.

It surely fulfils a promise…I’m sure Anne would be pleased and proud.

Visit Ask An Architect for more information.

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