28th September 2011
GlassTalk – Magic Box
Melbourne architect Timothy Yee’s practice T(A)2's very first house design was named a finalist in Viridian’s 2011 Vision Award for Residential Energy Efficiency. The Hood residence, in Melbourne’s blue-chip Brighton, is a design that advances the cause of transparency and slenderness. Daylight and natural spaces are given preference and Viridian double glazed units have been utilized in large-scale to shatter the notion that bricks and mortar are the measure of optimum value. Residential Design Architect Timothy Yee spoke with Peter Hyatt about his firm’s first foray into the highly competitive world of residential design."We worked the house into quite a small site. It’s only around 615sqm, so effective space planning was really a key to a compact design that feels much larger. The architectural challenge was to maximise effective space and, to an extent, surprise our clients with what is possible", explained Timothy. Glazing Choices Glass was used in a structural way rather than treating windows as a subordinate, secondary wall element. "We enjoy lightweight and transparent building wherever possible. At the same time it should be simple and modern. We like to play with lightweight structures and contrast that with solid materials. You can see that interplay of solid walls and expanses of glass throughout the house. There is a play of shadows and light from this that really shapes the quality of interiors", added Timothy. Design Highlight "It might sound too obvious but I do think the use of glass here is fantastic. It contributes a really remarkable quality of openness and airiness. Especially because privacy is not an issue. It’s exceptionally comfortable all year round in the way it responds to the light and weather. It was a pleasure to work with clients that shared the same goal and philosophy", recounts Timothy. "We also feel quite fortunate to have new technology available, Viridian is giving us more freedom to express our design and to allow us to open up structures with greater confidence". Creating Effect The front feature window of the house is the ‘onyx stone’ wall above the main entrance. "We considered real onyx, but it was prohibitively expensive. We were able to achieve that same glowing translucent quality with a transfer print to the glass and the effect is very convincing at a fraction of the cost", explained Timothy. Future Projects "Right now we have so many choices and varieties in glass and we are really spoilt. I don’t have clients that are quite ready to pay for Viridian’s self-cleaning glass but I guess over time it will become more affordable. That will be a dream for us to use. Obviously we are able to be much more experimental than was previously possible. If you want to allow light in for example, you must be able to keep the water and heat out. We’ve noticed that the range of glass is improving all the time." The full case study will be made available on the Viridian Glass website www.viridianglass.com. We congratulate T(A)2 and Timothy Yee on the Vision Awards results and attention that their first residential project, the Hood residence has received. Please tell us about your glass project and register your email (above right) to receive automated notification of future GlassTalks articles.