CLT House

FMD Architects

CLT House is a bridge between architectural thinking and sustainable construction methods. It is a poetic and pragmatic balance between architect (FMD Architects) and builder (CCB Envico), whose relationship developed from the concept design to ensure a highly considered outcome. The project encompasses a reconfiguration of the existing building as the base with a new upper-floor addition, which spans the established gardens on the site and re-plans the multigenerational family home with a new central core.

The use of cross-laminated timber (CLT) allows for large-span timber structures with minimal steel. Internally, the CLT is celebrated by exposing the structure on the walls and floors, which demanded absolute precision in the construction system to achieve a finely crafted outcome. The engineers’ screw connections are left exposed to show the inherent beauty of the connection system. Interior elements such as bookshelves, desks, pivot doors and bar units are also made from CLT to emphasise the natural qualities of the materials at a finer scale. Lighting is integrated into the ceiling beams and walls to avoid any distraction of decorative elements.

The existing ground-floor areas have been reconfigured and refurbished, with new double glazing, wall insulation and roofs. The kitchen acts as a pivot point between the existing ground floor and the new CLT extension. The extension serves as a quiet retreat for the owners, library, home office for the family business, as well as play space for the grandchildren. Its central location, which spans the different wings of the house, allows all three generations to come together.

The rhythmic quality of the sawtooth roof to the new bridge structure is both lyrical and rational. The pitched roofs to the north integrate an extensive solar array with high-level windows to capture the day’s changing light. The large ten-metre clear-span walls are punctuated by long slot windows for cross ventilation. The roof peaks have integrated motorised ventilation slots to release excess heat in summer, and work in conjunction with industrial ceiling fans.

Furniture: In Good Company, Cult. Finishes: Stora Enso, RC+D.

Photography: Dianna Snape