Fraser Tran House

The Fraser Tran House is a hub for a couple with a very wide extended family and a network of musician friends from across the city. It is a meeting point for large gatherings and a retreat from the rapidly densifying built environment that surrounds it.

The house looks beyond its site to a treed valley beyond, and reads as being located in a much more expansive context than it actually is. In part this is to do with the careful manipulation of openings to engage only with the available outlook, but in part this also to do with the fortuitous fall and orientation of the site.

The site falls towards the North East and opens broadly to the North East and North West below a floating canopy roof. Privacy, light, ventilation and outlook are all available in this direction. The plan tapers in on the long edge to create privacy and a greater setback on the North West edge. In one simple move, the house opens up to the rear and engages more fully with all of the site on two edges.

Environmentally, there are a number of strategies designed to improve comfort by passive means and reduce impact. Ceiling fans and large openings provide generous amounts of ventilation . Operable screens shade the South West and South East elevations. The main source of active heating is a highly efficient Norwegian wood fire. Roof water is collected in 2 x 5,000L tanks for reuse in the house and garden. There is a 5KW PV system on the roof. Low E double glazed Accoya and recycled hardwood windows are used throughout.

Joinery and materiality is very important for the success of the project. External finishes are used extensively internally. These include recycled blackbutt, birch ply, linoleum, concrete, Japanese tiles and a Hinoki bath. The rawness of many of the finishes give the house an unexpected calmness .

Project Team : Matt Elkan and Daina Cunningham

Structural Engineer : SDA (Charles Blumer)

Builder : Harding and Lindsay

Photographs : Anthony Basheer

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