The dolls and cars studio – it sounds like a grown-ups’ version of a children’s rumpus. But in the backyard of this NSW home an open wheel racer workshop and a well-lit and comfortable dolls’ display and workshop space co-exist in a separate studio building.
The client’s brief was to either fully blend the look of the studio with the existing brick home or create a design that was a complete contrast. Scyon™ Axon™ cladding and HardieFlex™ sheets were chosen to create a complete contrast.
However, the studio has been visually linked with the existing home by introducing a veranda connection, and using some of the studio’s materials and colours on the home’s entry.
Architect Phill Gant says that lightweight fibre-cement cladding was preferred because it was easy to shift around the site compared with the clay brick product used for the existing house.
“All construction utilized lightweight construction materials over a concrete slab to save time …and draw on the builder’s existing expertise without the need for calling other trades onto site - a further energy saving in terms of transport,” Gant says.
Gant also incorporated a number of other design features to make the studio as energy efficient as possible.
For example a wide bank of northern windows protected by a wide eave and blinds, allows solar access deep into the room. High-level windows across most of the southern length of the studio allow ample daylight display of the dolls.
Thermal mass from the slab on ground and insulation above the minimum BASIX requirements also assist thermal comfort. Extra seals have also been added to openings to help energy efficiency and create a ‘clean’ environment.
The Miller Garage and Studio has been entered in the 2010 LookHome Green Design Awards. You can see the plans and more photographs for this entry here.