A Robust Rigour – Banksia House by Aphora Architecture
Casuarina, NSW, Australia

Photography Andy Macpherson
Words Bronwyn Marshall

Taking cues from its site, Banksia House combines a robust hardiness in response to the native flora, iconic of the region, that it sits amongst. Aphora Architecture combines textural and durable features as a front to the harsh coastal climatic conditions and anchors the home in place through a refined rigour.

Responding in both form and function, Banksia House sits in harmony within its coastal milieu, where the eroding winds and salt dampened gusts are welcomed and absorbed by the selection of comprising formal elements. Taking its initial inspiration from the flora on site, as well as its namesake, Banksia House finds its muse in the native Banksia Integrifolia’s rugged resistance. Located along the eastern coast of New South Wales, in Casuarina, the resulting home is one of considered and robust proportions that looks to what has existed in place prior as the main influence for the proposed. Instead of being driven purely by stylistic reasonings, Aphora Architecture references sustainable principles and proposes a home of responsive and responsible character

Spread across one level, generous circulation zones connect oversized rooms and openings. Flexibility in the spatial planning and inherent function of the home also allows for future changes, with minimal effort.

Built by JMG Build, together with landscaping by LARC Collective, Banksia House sees seeing gestures of convenience and eased mobility as key to ageing-in-place for its owners. As well as carving out a comfortable abode from which to access the natural coastline from, the home sits comfortably in place. In the same way as the Banksia take form and withstand the surrounds, the home uses a palette of elements that infer a similar metaphor.

A suite of mechanisms is integrated into the home to allow for an eased opening and response to the changing climate across the seasons. Operable façade and battened screening abate unwanted solar gain, while allowing natural ventilation to pass through and cool the spaces as needed. Encasing the structure are masonry blockwork and timber that has been charred to release a natural seal and protect from the coastal winds. Polished concrete flooring then runs from inside to out, intercepted by grassed areas and a curated garden setting. Dedicated outdoor space sits protected from the elements as the building hugs the outdoor space, offering respite.

Encasing the structure are masonry blockwork and timber that has been charred to release a natural seal and protect from the coastal winds.

Banksia House is imagined as a listening and living contributor to its location. Aphora Architecture has captured the essence of its place and time and created a responsive and enduring home in the process

Published 6 August, 2021
Photography  Andy Macpherson
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