Anchored Through Warmth – Narrabundah House by Ben Walker Architects
Narrabundah, ACT, Australia
Warm and weighted, Narrabundah House is anchored to its site through an embedded warmth and textural response to the surrounding natural environment. Ben Walker Architects taps into an emotive approach, carving out a robust and flexible home well equipped to respond to the dynamism of family life.
Located in Narrabundah in Canberra’s inner south, the house of the same name sees an intentionally warm and embracing materiality that invites interaction and welcomes its guests and occupants. As a new build for a young family, integral to the home is an ingrained sense of longevity and endurance, ensuring the zones, surfaces and resonance of home all come together and can age and wear gracefully over time. By adopting a tactile approach, rich layers of naturally occurring textures are interwoven into the building and make optimised use of the site’s elevated positioning. Ben Walker Architects combines a clean and considered openness to connect the built with the natural and, in the process, create a home well and truly connected to its unique place.
As a new build for a young family, integral to the home is an ingrained sense of longevity and endurance, ensuring the zones, surfaces and resonance of home all come together and can age and wear gracefully over time.
Built by its owner, Narrabundah House also sees a close collaboration with Created Joinery. Throughout, integrated storage and supporting concealment of amenity allows for uninterrupted spaces to feel effortless and enhanced in their openness. Fine metal detailing elevates the everyday experience within the space and add an extra tactile detail to the built-in features, particularly in the kitchen and bathroom areas. Across its generous four bedrooms, guest suite, gym, theatre and shared living, dining and kitchen area, the home is connected and consistently feels open, despite its warmth. The use of dark timbers, brickwork, and brass further reinforces the feeling of the home as a robust base and in its strength brings an element of the architectural language internally. The patterning of the interconnecting surfaces then offers a diversity to the spaces and allows an interesting interplay with light throughout the day.
The unique positioning of the home sees the terrain upon which is sits elevated, allowing clear views of tree canopies around the site and to the uninterrupted landscape in the distance. These views are emphasised through large and framing apertures that draw the eye outward. A long and connecting gallery space acts as the spine of the home, where joinery is stopped at a consistent height to emphasise the internal volumes. Private spaces are kept to one side, with the more public on the other side, allowing a natural hierarchy of activity to be felt throughout.
By adopting a tactile approach, rich layers of naturally occurring textures are interwoven into the building and make optimised use of the site’s elevated positioning.
Narrabundah House draws in light through lightwells and invites nature deep into the home. Ben Walker Architects has conjured a home deeply connected to its site, taking cues from the surrounding context and ensuring a matched textural warmth is felt throughout – both enduring and persistent.