Hawthorn I Studio / Agius Scorpo Architects

Hawthorn I Studio / Agius Scorpo Architects

Hawthorn I Studio / Agius Scorpo Architects - Exterior Photography, Facade, Windows, Garden, CourtyardHawthorn I Studio / Agius Scorpo Architects - Interior Photography, Living Room, Sofa, BeamHawthorn I Studio / Agius Scorpo Architects - Interior Photography, Bedroom, Windows, BedHawthorn I Studio / Agius Scorpo Architects - Exterior Photography, Facade, Windows, Garden, CourtyardHawthorn I Studio / Agius Scorpo Architects - More Images+ 13

Hawthorn I Studio / Agius Scorpo Architects - Exterior Photography, Facade, Windows, Garden, Courtyard
© Tom Ross

Text description provided by the architects. Hawthorn I is an exercise in backyard optimization. A cast of familiar backyard elements like a shed, pool, and studio + activities such as play, relaxation, and retreat are synthesized in a modest site area of 12mx10m.  The project brief was for an adaptable space to first be an independent living space for their teenage son, then become a dedicated studio to work from home.  This space was to accommodate a kitchenette, bathroom, living and sleeping space.  Additionally, they wanted to build a storage shed, workshop, and pool.   There was also a young oak tree to be retained as it had great sentimental value to the family, planted by their kids as an acorn from the local park.

Hawthorn I Studio / Agius Scorpo Architects - Interior Photography, Living Room, Sofa, Beam
© Tom Ross
Hawthorn I Studio / Agius Scorpo Architects - Image 16 of 18
Plan – Ground Floor

The main challenge would be finding a way to accommodate all the client’s requirements, without sacrificing the already modest backyard, or building a dominant structure that would be viewed from the key living spaces + outdoor dining area resulting in an awkward and unusable garden.

Hawthorn I Studio / Agius Scorpo Architects - Interior Photography, Bedroom, Windows, Bed
© Tom Ross
Hawthorn I Studio / Agius Scorpo Architects - Image 17 of 18
Plan – 1st Floor
Hawthorn I Studio / Agius Scorpo Architects - Interior Photography, Kitchen, Beam
© Tom Ross

We worked through the push and pull between the needs of the built form and the garden, finding a way to strike a balance between these two opposing elements. We saw an opportunity for the design to be a continuous fence that could capture and extend the boundary of the garden and accommodate all the requirements of the brief in one unified gesture.  This ‘fence’ could bulge out, extend up and fold around key elements, like the oak tree, to become both a building and garden perimeter.

Hawthorn I Studio / Agius Scorpo Architects - Interior Photography, Bathroom, Lighting, Shower, Windows
© Tom Ross

The studio loft facing north is the expressive point of the architecture that raises up to filter northern light deep into the footprint, so the resulting spaces are washed with indirect light. Large aluminum fins mediate the direct Western and Eastern sun. The garden shed is a cupboard with large sliding doors that open and borrow from the garden area when used as a workshop.

Hawthorn I Studio / Agius Scorpo Architects - Exterior Photography, Facade, Windows, Garden, Courtyard
© Tom Ross

The landscape design incorporates low ground covers and creepers using the new building as an armature to grow up whilst highlighting the contribution of the existing oak and jacaranda. The craft was explored in how we interpreted the idea of the fence and spread this across the three main elements of the design. Silvertop Ash was selected to cover the studio, back fence, shed, and pool in a cohesive gesture.

Hawthorn I Studio / Agius Scorpo Architects - Image 18 of 18
Section

A white painted datum was added to the bottom of the fence to break the overall scale of the fence/building and provide a contrasting backdrop to ground cover planting. This also assists in providing an extra level of protection for timber located close to the ground.

Hawthorn I Studio / Agius Scorpo Architects - Exterior Photography, Garden, Courtyard
© Tom Ross

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