Smell that? The air is infused with freshly mown grass, sweet jasmine flower and evening BBQs. Spring may have come late this year, but it's definitely in the air now. Does it make you want to clean? To nest? At Nest House, Zen Architects have taken the idea of nesting to new heights (quite literally) by designing a nest-like studio perched above the living space...
Zen Architects were asked to design a rear addition for the double-fronted period home in West Brunswick.
The clients wanted the kitchen to be the focus of a new open-plan space. But the problem with large, open-plan spaces is they can be noisy and cavernous. Not to mention difficult to heat. The architect's solution was a nest-like mezzanine studio space which floats above the living area. The nest has an open-decked floor, allowing light and breezes to filter through. This unique space has the advantage of overlooking the living area below, but with improved privacy and its own sense of space.
"The mezzanine facilitates interaction between each room in the house while still allowing separation of spaces for privacy, acoustics or thermal comfort if required." - Zen Architects
The living space sits under a dramatically raked ceiling, sloped at just the right angle to maximise winter sun. Clerestory windows let north light deep into the home where concrete floors soak up the warmth to keep the home warm. The asymmetrical butterfly roof helps Nest House solve the common catch-22 of wanting to angle the roof towards the north to let in the sun, but the need to have a north-facing roof for solar panels. This roofline allows for both.
Outside, Nest House feels very Australian. A COLORBOND® Steel facade and the , the addition is low-maintenance and the use of timber gives the home a warm, laid-back persona. Timber slats with translucent roofing above form the soffit of the roof, allowing a soft, dappled light through. This continues the idea of the nest and makes the large roof feel lighter.
While open-plan living is popular, it's not always the best option. Nest House has the best of both worlds, with all spaces feeling connected, while also having their own unique qualities. Zen Architects have created intimate spaces within the larger space, which is a much more comfortable way to live. Next time you're nesting, consider how you can create a more intimate space in your home - even if it's still in the middle of the action.