LEURA HOUSE BLUE MOUNTAINS
This pocket-sized house in the Blue Mountains is a new build for a family of three. It is a Japanese-inspired, Modernist, two-storey cottage situated within a bushfire flame zone area.
It’s a cost-driven project and therefore small in size, just 100sq m, consisting of an open-plan living area at ground level, with two sleeping spaces and bathroom on the first floor, overlooking the void.
The site conditions have dictated the planning of this structure, which is triangular in shape and wedged between the front and side boundaries, a small creek and a Sydney Water sewer main. This is the only allowable buildable area on a 5,000sq m site.
Due to the bushfire flame zone location, the house is required to use particular materials in the build. These include a concrete slab floor (due to the cost restrictions, this will also become the internal floor finish) and exterior cladding in UBIQ (magnesium oxide cement panel), which is low in CO2 emissions, and finished with clear sealant to appear as concrete. The large window to the north, facing bushland, has a steel and aluminium frame and is protected by a fire shutter; the smaller window to the southeast is framed in aluminium and will have mesh screening.
The house frame is lightweight timber and steel, and the internal fit-out will have simple, raw finishes, including plasterboard walls, Hoop pine plywood joinery and painted open steel staircase.