Lochness Avenue

A journey through space and light in the foothills of Adelaide.

locationTorrens Park
floor area445 m2
completion2024

For this new home build in the foothills of Adelaide, our clients wanted the feeling of a journey through the home, spaces for both parents and kids, and to make the most of eastern morning light and the north-facing backyard. 

We addressed the design challenges of a natural dell in the site by setting the garage and lounge at a lower level. This met the clients ‘journey’ brief in interesting ways and avoided a site cut that would have restricted access to the eastern morning light that was so important to them.

The entry area was increased in scale to manage the higher floor level, with large three-sided polished concrete steps leading up to the portico.

Framed on each side by white render, the front façade was carefully designed to relate to the existing streetscape by managing the scale and height of the home with its flying roof over the garage, portico, and window boxes projecting from the faced sandstone.

The entry to this home is more than a front door, with the size and scale of the entry matching the portico and front steps outside.

The sandstone of the front façade and white form of the garage continue inside past the large Western Red Cedar entry door and black-framed glazing. An incorporated louvre window is an integral part of the crossflow ventilation designed into the home.

The ceiling height steps up to 3.5m to support the scale of the space and allow extra comfortable room for the statement entry pendant lights.

A clear view from the entry to the glazing at the back of the home invites you into the kitchen at the heart of the home.

This is an elegantly simple kitchen, modest in footprint until you start to explore further. The efficient use of space means that what you need most of the time is close at hand, and what you need occasionally is still convenient.

A subtle colour shift between the cabinetry and the walls defines the kitchen while also allowing them to blend into the background building form. The deep cabinets around the fridge are set back into the wall. This depth is further used to create a private corridor into the master suite and a unique but beautifully crafted games nook.

A large skylight diffuser over the island means this room in the centre of the home is never short on natural light.

The walk-in-pantry could be better described as another kitchen, and like its more public partner, it is well lit by a skylight.

A sink, plenty of cabinets and bench space mean this is the practical home for the things you don’t want on show. Upturned stone splashbacks add a highly practical and waterproof finish without compromising the aesthetic decisions of the main kitchen.

A wine store tucked behind the other side of the kitchen and accessed from the hallway adds an impressive feature at night when lit.

A large conveniently closable timber panelled sliding door accesses a study to keep all the artifacts of daily administration that often accumulate around the kitchen close and handy.

The site gives an ideal ‘two-dog’ north-facing backyard with plenty of existing shade. The home’s design builds on this by creating a central protected alfresco space directly off the kitchen and internal dining area.

The journey of form and separation is continued outside with well-defined but connected spaces.

The pool area is set down from the alfresco decking with a glass pool fence and curved section of cantilevered rods that keep the pool area open to the rest of the backyard. A white rendered wall with overhead timber frame clearly defines the pool area and invites you to explore beyond while also providing some convenient cover for the pool equipment shed.

A raised deck at the far end of the pool enclosure with its inbuilt curved bench takes the decision making out of ‘where to lounge’.

The simple form of the alfresco area roof hides the roof structure and is supported by a feature double timber post salvaged from site and divides the glazing on the northern façade.

Again, form and separation and the journey between spaces are important to the transition between the dining area and the sunken lounge.

The raked ceiling is continued from the dining area while the floor is sunken to create a lofty ceiling height and a clear but open boundary to an area of escape.

Situated in the northern corner of the home, the sunken lounge is comfortable on winter days and well protected with shade from extended eaves in summer. Louvre windows enable natural evaporative cooling from gully breezes moving across the pool.

The platform behind the couches is the perfect place to rest an aperitif or for a pet ambush.

A simple panelling detail on the grey painted feature wall, and the stone clad fireplace with its three-side-open-structural-gymnastics further define the space and harmonises the interior and exterior material and colour schemes.

The master suite features an uncompromising layout, with each space designed around function and aesthetics without compromises on size or shape.

The ensuite’s double vanity and freestanding bath are in front of a wall-to-wall window. Floor to ceiling sheer curtains and a private screened lushly planted yard allow as much of the outside in as desired when relaxing in the bath.

The double shower is lit overhead by a skylight and along the back wall by a recessed LED light strip keeping the space free from the harsh lighting no one wants to face at either end of the day. Linear drains allow simple single slope tiling to avoid any awkward angled cuts.

A generous walk-in-robe with its full height mirror behind the bench adds a sense of space, with its side lit mirror offering the right light for getting ready.

The master bedroom with its access to the backyard and louvre windows mean good access to cooling breezes and dips in the pool in summer.

Three other bedrooms, a shared bathroom, and powder room are accessed by a wide skylight-lit corridor separating them from the rest of the home. The clients asked that this area have natural eastern light to help the kids wake in the morning.

Bedrooms 2 and 3 each have generous walk-in-robes and large front-facing window seats. The window seats inside mirror the window boxes outside to create an overall reveal of more than a meter deep. This gives the feeling of floor-to-ceiling wall-to-wall glazing without the impact on cost, aesthetics, and practical use of the space.

A full-length linen cupboard in the corridor means ample storage for anything that could ever be needed.

This project is a great example of how a Finesse home tailored to the specific needs of the family can make such a positive impact on day-to-day living.

Environmental Sustainability

Heating and cooling are effectively managed through a combination of form, technology, and environmental sustainability principles, with this relatively square plan maximising floor area compared to external wall area to be insulated.

Breeze pathways are designed into the core of the home with louvre windows front and back, and a wide unobstructed hallway to shift air through the home.

Light in the middle of the home is managed with careful sizing and positioning of five skylights. Artificial lighting uses energy efficient LED lights throughout the home.

The internal building envelope is effectively sealed and insulated with special care taken in areas like skylight shafts and sliding door cavities. Like all our homes, this one underwent a blower-door test to ensure no unwanted air-movement.

All hard surface flooring inside uses hydronic heating to ensure that warm air in winter efficiently rises from the ground up past the occupants.