Characterised by its two large concrete shrouds, Hawthorn House is located in Hawthorn, Australia and flips the structural script. The external cubes support the property as well as providing a framework for how the spaces within the home relate to each other and to the environment. Pulled upwards at each title boundary, the covers frame the garden backdrop, lending a sense of dynamism to the home. The two concrete skins have their own proportions and personality and are linked by a walkway and courtyard garden.

Edition Office aimed to instil Hawthorn House with a feeling of sanctuary, of being ‘elsewhere’ and away from the challenges of a daily working life. The problem, however, arises in balancing the feeling of secure refuge and ensuring that the property receives enough light and fresh air. While the concrete shrouds appear heavy and suffocating from the exterior, from within they lend a sense of lightness, the sides peeling up as though they’re blowing away.

Hawthorn House was designed using extensive passive solar design. Glazing is separated from the concrete shells to ensure that winter sun can flood into the living spaces while shielding the strong summer heat. Thermal mass in the concrete walls and concrete floors – which are also hydronically heated – retains the warmth of direct sunlight all year round. The roof tops off the solar acumen of the property with a solar pool heating system as well as a significant solar PV array.

The interiors of the property relate closely to the exteriors, the restraint in terms of colour palette and detailing unifies the two. Concrete, timber and unrefined brass dominate Hawthorn House with the purpose of ageing naturally with human touch.

Hawthorn House is at once enclosed and open, heavy and light, public and private. Despite the arguably cold instant impression, the material makeup of the interior with a focus on human experience and tactility looks to promote the feeling of sanctuary for a growing family.

Photography by Benjamin Hosking.

Inspired by the Hawthorn House's furniture? Head to NORR11 for modern pieces with an industrial aesthetic. 

Yarrbat Residence follows many of the same values as Hawthorn House: a family hub that centres around privacy.