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Design Stars: The Oxley House

When it comes to creating spectacular homes Western Australia’s building designers easily go toe-to-toe with their counterparts around the country


Best new residential design up to $500,000: 2018 BDAWA Building Design Awards

The Oxley House – Darlington by Izabela Katafoni at Studio Origami

The Brief
Economic, simple, energy efficient and family friendly were the key principles of the design brief for this Darlington property.  With a budget of about $500,000, the aim was to evoke the rural and industrial architecture of Europe, with high pitched roofs and barn-style minimalism and to provide a connection to the landscape and capture surrounding views.

The owners wanted the design to be planned around family with growing kids and relatives who visit a few times a year for extended stays. The spaces had to be functionally zoned while at the same time allowing for the smooth flow of everyday life: watching the kids play outside or having them sit by the kitchen table to help mum with dinner. They were keen to have an energy-efficient home that stayed cool in summer and warm in winter.

The Solution
Nestled into the elevated site with outstanding views over the ranges, the Oxley House is a masterclass in restrained design and affordability, according to the judges.

“The Colorbond Trimdek roof emerges from amongst native bushland, projecting its European barn-inspired vision,” they said.

“A restrictive $500,000 budget encouraged some lateral thinking from the designer, who employed SIPs (structural insulated panels) in its many incarnations to develop the home’s unique exterior and interiors.

“Soaring ceilings and walls in a mix of plasterboard, timber panelling and OSB boards are anchored by dark floors across the two floors on the modest 117sqm footprint.

“With a three-month build time, Oxley House is a true changemaker in its category.”