- Architecture ServedProject Featured On:Architecture Served — 9/19/12
- Interior Design ServedProject Featured On:Interior Design Served — 11/4/12
A small house that aspires to bigger things
The Nest is a prime example of Duckbuild’s work. Think Japanese-inspired multi-use spaces, integral environmental sustainability, Luis Barragan‐esque splashes of colour, integrated artworks and a hands-on approach. Despite Cookes’ academic accomplishments – he completed a double degree in Architecture and Construction with honours at the University of Melbourne – he still enjoys getting his hands dirty: in building The Nest, he laid all of the mirrors in the concrete floor by hand and tiled the flying bird mosaic in the bathroom.
The original house itself was restricted by the uniform 'neighbourhood character' of the street, a very narrow site at only 4.5m wide and an obtrusive views from the office buildings behind. These problems only served as fodder for Cookes’ design ideas. Maximising every millimeter of space, Cookes has cleverly designed doors that slide into walls (doubling the kitchen size), a hall that transforms into a laundry and bathroom, cupboard doors that become an office bench-top and operable walls and sliding doors that open the house into a courtyard, blurring the boundaries between inside and outside. Though The Nest is predominantly clean and subdued, moments of artistic expression can be found throughout the house, including foliage and duck cutouts, colourful splatters of paint and an intricate curved overhead mosaic. Cookes' attention to detail and desire to add something special to every inch of the house is evident in the range of designed and custom-made door levers, pulls and mechanisms.
Demonstrating the way in which sustainability is integral in Cookes’ design process, the sloping northern façade houses evacuated tube solar collectors that are connected to the hot water system and hydronic slab heating. The Nest – air-conditioner free – also includes photovoltaic panels that power the lights and fans, rainwater tanks, water saving toilets, heat activated natural ventilation, an abundance of natural light, thermal mass, reused doors and windows and recycled materials. All of these features are integrated seamlessly into the design so as to not distract from the flamboyant and expressive architectural impression of the overall building.