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Monday 16 Jul 2012
Melbourne based architectural and construction management practice Duckbuild, fronted by former ARM architect Simon Cookes, designed its original home office, The Nest. Located in the inner suburb of Cremorne, it was originally built to serve the dual purpose of Duckbuild's creative headquarters and Cookes' own residence. The Nest became a simple way to demonstrate Cookes' unique design aesthetic and construction management capabilities.
While it was important to maintain its ‘neighbourhood character' as presented to the street, once you move past the front door the house opens up in unexpected ways. Cookes employed a clever use of unusual doors, joinery and transformational spaces to maximise the tight 4.5m wide site. It features a hall that can transform into a laundry and bathroom, cupboard doors that become an office bench top, and a kitchen that doubles in size using operable facades which open to blur the inside and outside.
Ecologically minded, The Nest's features include solar water and electrical systems, heat activated natural ventilation, rainwater collection, water saving toilets, photovoltaic panels that power lights and fans, evacuated tube collectors on the sloping northern facade for hot water and hydronic slab heating, an abundance of natural light and recycled materials, all integrated seamlessly as part of the building.
Beyond the original façade are dynamic, contemporary forms. Polished steel and glass feature alongside recycled rough saw timber cladding, and flamboyant bursts of colour pink, orange, green and blue break up the predominate tones of grey, black and white. The bathroom walls are adorned with a tiled mosaic of flying birds.
The site is part of the new direction of international architecture, creating spaces that are part of an individualistic, earth conscious lifestyle.