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Harvey Taylor House, Yarralumla

Designed around a shared appreciation of traditional Japanese architecture by client and architect, the Maxwell Street house interpretes those traditions into an Australian context.

External masonry walls and cobblestone paving extend into the house, blurring lines between interior and exterior. The paved entry leads to a meticulously detailed, timber lined circulation spine wrapping around a private courtyard. Opening off the spine is a private bedroom suite and a sequence of living spaces defined by high ceilings, clerestory windows and a change in flooring.

Lighting is concealed in the slatted timber ceiling. Golden wallpaper and textured tiles line the ground floor wet areas, while the main bathroom houses a traditional deep-soaker wooden bath. The ground floor concludes with a Japanese tearoom, pairing traditional principles with an Australian aesthetic. The first floor area provides additional sleeping and office space with balconies into the courtyard.

This project was made possible through a deep commitment to quality and experimentation from the client, architect and builder. The result is a light-filled functional family home that celebrates craftsmanship and attention to detail.

The Harvey Taylor House is the recipient of the 2015 ACT Residential Architecture Award (new houses).

Builder: Preferred Builders, Photographer: Ben Wrigley, Recycled timber supplier: Thor’s Hammer, Canberra