Lo­cal home: Ho­bart’s Cord­well Lane takes top HIA hon­ours

One of the main rea­sons Cord­well Lane’s Ta­roona project blew this year’s HIA judges away was the per­fect bal­ance achieved be­tween the use of raw ma­te­ri­als and the cre­ation of a warm fam­ily home, writes JARRAD BE­VAN

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - CONTENTS -

Af­ter a hia­tus from awards com­pe­ti­tions, Ho­bart builders Cord­well Lane jumped back into the pool this year in a big way, tak­ing out the Tas­ma­nian Home of the Year award at the re­cent HIA-CSR show­case of the best of 2016.

Cord­well Lane direc­tor Scott Cord­well said the project was a dy­namic col­lab­o­ra­tion with lo­cal ar­chi­tect Stu­art Tan­ner – who he has worked with many times over the years – and their client.

“This home, the River’s Edge House, was very much about raw ma­te­ri­al­ity,” he said. “It is a raw con­crete and raw tim­ber build­ing, which ap­pealed to our client.

“They wanted a fam­ily home but not a typ­i­cal sub­ur­ban house. They were happy to look at things from a unique and dif­fer­ent an­gle to the norm and that gave us the free­dom to ex­plore, to test and to come up with sam­ples up of what could be achieved.”

In a de­sign like this one, the tim­ber is clearly tim­ber and the con­crete like con­crete; it is stripped back to its raw el­e­ments in­stead of cov­ered in plas­ter, ren­der or paint.

Scott de­scribed it as a “raw ex­pres­sion of the ma­te­ri­als”.

He said judges were usu­ally tight lipped when in­spect­ing a prop­erty but they did let slip that they were blown away by the raw ma­te­ri­als high­lighted in this house and the bal­anc­ing act to re­tain the warmth and feel of a fam­ily home.

“That was the real trick to this project,” he said. “The judges un­der­stood the heart and the craft of this build.”

One of the many tech­niques the team used gave the con­crete in the in­te­ri­ors a textured char­ac­ter in­stead of a typ­i­cal shiny sur­face.

They used a wa­ter-blasted, grainy and ex­pres­sive ply­wood sheet to give the con­crete a unique look and feel.

The soft warmth of the tim­ber used through­out the home, com­bined with the con­crete, hit the mark per­fectly.

“You can see in the end prod­uct that this was a project that had an el­e­ment of dis­cov­ery along the way; it was cared for and crafted,” Scott said.

“When build­ing some­thing unique, it is vi­tal to give your client the con­fi­dence that they aren’t go­ing too far out on a limb. I’d call our client coura­geous.”

In a fun twist at the HIA cer­e­mony, Scott ac­ci­den­tally missed the an­nounce­ment of the Home of the Year cat­e­gory – but he did not mind. “I missed the spot­light and the stream­ers be­cause I was out the back talk­ing with a spon­sor,” he said. “It was great, ac­tu­ally, a funny thing that didn’t bother me one bit.”

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