A tight budget turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the owners of this Byron Bay home, having inspired an innovative and minimal waste design by Studio Jackson Scott.
The brief provided to the design firm was to create a comfortable, three-bedroom family home on a modest budget. The client also asked for the home to reflect his late father, from whom he inherited the land. ‘His father was a carpenter, so it was important that this house expressed his affinity with timber and belief in humble construction,’ says Scott Jackson, director of Studio Jackson Scott. ‘We had to think carefully about how to construct this building to ensure that design intent remained strong, while construction details and methods remained simple.’
Fibre cement sheets were chosen as the primary material for the home’s external cladding due to their lightweight nature, economy and ease of installation. By tailoring the project design to suit the size of standard fibre cement sheet, the production of unusable off-cuts normally created during construction was curbed. A further benefit of using these sheets was the geometric pattern they formed on the house’s façade. ‘This was somewhat of a happy accident as these battens were required to protect the joints between each fibre cement sheet,’ explains Scott. ‘This was a good example of how ‘restrictive’ construction details can in fact bring out a more unique outcome.’
Scott sees adhering to sustainable design principles as his duty as a designer. ‘The construction industry is responsible for using large amounts of natural resources and contributing heavily towards the waste that ends up in landfill every year,’ he says. ‘Designers have a responsibility to strive towards projects that are more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.’
Unpainted plywood provides warmth and texture to the interiors, contrasted with blackbutt timber on the facade. These materials, along with the concrete floors, are robust, durable and tactile – much like the home’s surrounding landscape. ‘We used these materials to create a ‘natural’ aesthetic that echoed the beauty of the Australian bush and beach surrounding the house,’ Scott says.
Despite limitations in size and budget, the OCM House has emerged as an elegant, sophisticated and exemplary family home.