Arkhefield - Balaam House


Balaam House

Shaun Lockyer (one of 3 Directors) heading the team at Arkhefield created a unique solution in a very urban, riverside plot. Overlooked to the east, the house looks for winter warmth from the north and west whilst trying to take in southern river views.
A private garden to the west provides light, a play area for children and a fire pit for relaxing around in the evening.

The house combines zinc aluminium, concrete, rich timbers and raw battening as the house moves from secure bedrooms on the easterly spine towards the more open living rooms of the setting sun. Centre piece of the property is the cantilevered pool, providing an eave for the main entrance with its showpiece, glass end.

It’s not all show either. Complementing its modern style and perhaps Gehry-esque
(without comparison or wanting to offend) zinc curves, the house packs in green features as well.
Rain water harvesting, solar hot water, passive “heat stack” cross ventilation (see the stairwell ventilation and light shaft on the easterly wall), solar control glass, operable louvers, shutters and blinds on solar clocks to limit use of air-conditioning, thermal mass and low maintenance, recycled, materials were all a consideration.

From its solid east wall spine, the house peels back layers to the south west. In response and consultation with its neighbor, an open “garden zone” provides green to the otherwise built up environs. It may seem large, but within the broader higher density context of its surroundings it fits well and as the layers peel back the living areas and outdoor dining provide protection from the elements, views and cross ventilation.

The layout also provides: a secure 4 bedroom stack for the children above the garage at the northern end, leaving the southern end for entertaining, living and on the top floor a master wing. The first floor level accommodates the bulk of living needs including the outdoor living and pool.

When viewed from the riverside path the house's size befits the surrounding multi residential buildings. Elevated living areas take in the views and the lightening of construction materials can be seen from east to west.

The huge picture window and feature flueless fire are fantastic.

“Our client wanted a unique piece of architecture that could enhance family life and not be precious. Feedback from the client is that the house has achieved this aspiration while providing privacy and sanctuary from the otherwise urban and public environment.”


Images and information via: Arkhefield. Greatly appreciated!