Sandringham House / Ellul Architecture

Sandringham House / Ellul Architecture

Sandringham House / Ellul Architecture - Exterior Photography, WindowsSandringham House / Ellul Architecture - Interior photography, bedroom, windowsSandringham House / Ellul Architecture - Interior PhotographySandringham House / Ellul Architecture - Exterior photography, windows, garden, courtyard+ 19

Sandringham House / Ellul Architecture - Exterior Photography
© Rory Gardiner

Text description provided by the architects. Sandringham House is a haven for a young family in the Melbourne suburb of Bayside. The sober black pavilion is nestled in the landscape under the canopy of a massive oak tree. A series of courtyards are carved into the simple form to provide a calming sanctuary within.

Sandringham House / Ellul Architecture - Exterior Photography, Windows
© Hamish McIntosh

Concept:
• Sandringham House is a single storey family home in the Bayside suburb of Sandringham.
• A massive oak tree in the front yard has compromised the existing 1950s house, causing it to fall into disrepair. The existing house was a dark, damp maze of rooms.
• Thorough interrogation of the brief led to a design that satisfied their spatial requirements while being simple in form.
• The design has been streamlined to ensure efficiency and work within the limited budget.
• Robust/honest materials have been selected to be low maintenance and durable, with longevity in mind.
• The parts were correctly oriented. A series of courtyards and a roof pop-up allowed light/ventilation to penetrate deep into the plan.
• Passive design has been aided by functional shading elements and high profile windows, maximizing cross-flow ventilation.
• A very private family, the house was to be their refuge. Functional slatted screens/panels help isolate the home from the outside world. The native landscaping inside provides a calming outlook.

Sandringham House / Ellul Architecture - Interior photography, kitchen, shelves, table
© Rory Gardiner
Sandringham House / Ellul Architecture - Image 16 of 19
To plan
Sandringham House / Ellul Architecture - Interior photography, bedroom, windows
© Rory Gardiner

The context:
• The house is deliberately recessive in nature, with the minimal black-clad pavilion tucked into the site, ensuring that the oak tree becomes the focal point.
• The native landscaped front yard spills out onto the street, giving back generously to the public realm, while providing a buffer to the home beyond.
• It was important that the house be a place of refuge, with screened-in courtyards providing a layer of protection, while also providing opportunities for soothing landscaping. Functional panels inside the steel shroud can be pulled over the fixed glazing, allowing the house to be closed off from the street.

Sandringham House / Ellul Architecture - Interior photography, bathroom
© Rory Gardiner
Sandringham House / Ellul Architecture - Interior Photography
© Rory Gardiner

Program:
• The master suite and office overlook the private entry courtyard, providing a calming secluded perspective.
• To minimize clutter, additional rooms (retreat, playroom, guest room) have been grouped together in one large flexible room, facing north and connected to the terraced courtyard.
• The bathroom has been divided into two rooms to allow multiple users.
• Bathrobes have been integrated into the circulation space to maximize the size of the room.
• Screened-in courtyards provide a calming refuge from the world beyond.
• Living spaces were connected to the garden and courtyards, blurring the lines between indoors and outdoors, expanding the view and feeling of space.

Sandringham House / Ellul Architecture - Interior photography, closet, shelves, windows
© Rory Gardiner
Sandringham House / Ellul Architecture - Image 17 of 19
Divisions
Sandringham House / Ellul Architecture - Interior Photography, Facade
© Rory Gardiner

Budget:
• Given the incredibly tight budget, it was essential to engage a builder from the start so that the design could be priced regularly to manage overruns.
• To ensure total flexibility, we worked within the framework of regulatory controls so as not to trigger a schedule, which allowed us not to be locked into a scenography. This freedom allowed the design to evolve with price.
• The design worked according to standard material sizes and formats. The layout was guided by wooden spans to ensure structural simplicity; no structural steel in the house.

Sandringham House / Ellul Architecture - Exterior photography, windows, garden, courtyard
© Rory Gardiner



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Raymond I. Langston