Albury House is a compact home for all seasons and moods, one that can open up or shut down according to weather or the inhabitant’s wish for being more in or out-side. An environmentally responsive building envelope it incorporates flyscreens, louvres, perforated cement sheet screens and sliding glass walls to adapt to the extremes of Albury’s climatic variation.
Adjusted to the slope of the land, the house is arranged along two terraces, an upper and lower one, which organise functions and differentiate between a warmer north side and a cooler south side. The stepped floor in combination with the roof angle create living spaces that are shady in summer, sun-filled in winter and completed by views south towards Huon Hill.
The parti of the house is formed by a cluster of concrete brick ‘pods’ which establish view-lines and contrasting qualities of space. Some areas are more discrete, closed and snug, with timber lined spaces inside them and in the residual spaces between and around the ‘pods’ its more expansive, with open areas that function like breezeways and celebrate the delight of masonry’s mass and texture.
In keeping with the clients’ wishes, the house, at 179m2, is relatively modest in size (for an Australian one) and rural in sensibility. The material palette is robust and direct – concrete slab, concrete bricks, cement sheet and ply for interior linings and joinery.