Uniquely Sensitive – The Sticks by iarchitecture and Alwill Interiors
Upper Kangaroo Valley, NSW, Australia

Photography Katherine Lu & Prue Ruscoe
Architecture iarchitecture
Interior Design iarchitecture
Words Bronwyn Marshall

Taking heed from the surrounding context and embracing its natural setting, The Sticks sits tucked tightly into its undulating site, concealed from approach. Architecture by iarchitecture and styling by Alwill Interiors form a respectfully sensitive insertion in place, while carving its own unique typology.

Located in Upper Kangaroo Valley, The Sticks emerges from the landscape as a softly hugging form aligning with the terrain. The form is a unique insertion in its setting, surrounded by other rural dwellings and a vernacular familiar with the farming of the area. A response to the landscape instead of as a supplementary element, the architecture is developed from a series of referential cues, bringing together and forming its own unique approach. A social home, there is a provision for up to 10 people to stay at any one time. As a home to many, the typology traditionally associated with a remote location is expanded to embed an integral flexibility of spatial arrangements and ensure a natural expansion and contraction on site as needed. Designed by iarchitecture and styled by Alwill Interiors, the resulting home sits delicately sprawled, in an open conversation with the landscape.

 

 

 

A key part of the experience of the home is the constant reminder of its location and a disconnect from the urban setting.

Built by Djokic Constructions, The Sticks burrows itself into the ridge it is perched upon. From approach, an element of journey and discovery reveals the form slowly, creating an intentional anticipation. Assembling as a three-part axis, winged elements all reach out to maximise aspect and a connection with the surrounds. A key part of the experience of the home is the constant reminder of its location and a disconnect from the urban setting. While conveniences and a refined resolve brings all of the elements together on site, the select materiality and glazed openings act as reinforcers of place.

As a gesture of bringing its occupants together, the arrival experience is formed by a tunnel structure that signals entry, acting as a compression point amongst the mostly linear form. At the central core, the open living, dining and kitchen zones come together as the convening hearth of the home, pulling occupants together as a place of nurture. Throughout, warm and natural finishes connect the home with the surrounds, while the timber panel cladding intentionally wraps the form, encasing each of its parts together as one. The immediate landscaping is kept to a minimum, ensuring the focus is on the natural and untouched elements and, in doing so, creating a feeling as though the form as been lightly dropped into position, lightly engaging with the site.

As a gesture of bringing its occupants together, the arrival experience is formed by a tunnel structure that signals entry, acting as a compression point amongst the mostly linear form.

The Sticks’ focus on place and sustained longevity ensures a considered and low energy footprint created.  iarchitecture have carved a rural and removed home of lasting relevance, as a respectful conduit between the built and the natural.

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Published 10 October, 2021
Photography  Katherine Lu & Prue Ruscoe
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