The Sanctuary is true to its namesake, a modern, light-filled home providing a physical and emotional retreat in Launceston for the owners’ family and friends. It’s a place they now love to be, because the design centres around creating spaces for connections – to the garden landscape and mountain range beyond, within the family throughout the home – and creating a warm welcome to everyone who enters.
Designed around an entry courtyard, the internal spaces are drenched in north-facing light with views out to the gardens. This thoughtful design by Jo Churchill, Director of Churchill Architects, more than delivers on an ambitious brief that would ensure the home was big enough for the owners to grow into and retire in.
Two simple stacked forms are nestled into the landscape to reduce its scale, so it doesn’t protrude into the lines of the streetscape. The ground floor offers ‘public’ living areas, and is ripe for entertaining. There’s a spacious, double-volume, open plan kitchen and living area looking out onto the pool and landscaped garden, a laundry, rumpus room, guest room with ensuite, and study backing on to a three car garage at the rear. Upstairs is reserved for sleeping, containing four bedrooms, the master with ensuite and walk-in robe, a gym overlooking the pool, and shared bathroom.
From the external façade it’s evident that no detail has been overlooked, and every material is carefully selected for its high quality. The simple, elegant palette of brick, wood and concrete runs consistently and seamlessly from outside to within, embracing the patterns, textures and imperfections of its raw, natural materials.
A strong and textured base of handmade Petersen Kolumba™ bricks grounds the home into the landscape, the long profile accentuating its linear form.
“We were originally going to use a face brick painted white, but the owners saw the handmade Petersen Kolumba™ bricks in a design magazine and just loved them – they thought they were a bit more of a modern interpretation of the clay brick, and loved that they were handmade, and all of the variations in them,” Jo reflects.
Having looked at a few samples, the clients settled on the Petersen K91s, which were laid in a random bond, accentuating the beautiful shadow play across the façade that varies with the changing light of day.
Lightweight Adobo timber in an ebony finish nestles into, and cantilevers over, the brick base and paired with a matt black Colourbond facia, is a complementary contrast to the light grey of tones of the Petersen Kolumba™ bricks. Together, the palette offers a masculine, modern feeling of permanence.
A beautiful entry sequence provides a taste of what is to come inside. On opening the solid American Oak door, textured walls of Petersen bricks embrace you on either side and in front, flanked by eastern sunlight and decorated with a vibrant artwork by renowned Tasmanian artist, Michael McWilliams:
“There’s a junction between all three materials and the joinery, which is quite tricky to do, to detail up, so it was great to see it all come together and see the builder execute it so well. That’s really rewarding,” Jo remarks.
Once inside, on the ground floor the Petersen bricks continue on all walls, paired with American Oak timber joinery and polished concrete floors, while upstairs American Oak wall lining, flooring and joinery combines beautifully with the black timber cladding. Overwhelmingly there is a connection to the landscape from every room, which creates the gloriously warm and light-filled home the owners were seeking.
To combat Tasmania’s temperature extremes, passive design principles are adopted including high-performing insulation, hydronic heating on the lower level, ducted heating and cooling upstairs, and thermal mass on the ground floor that traps the morning sunshine.
The Sanctuary has delivered over and above the owners’ expectations, who are thrilled with the outcome, and just love living, and entertaining guests, in their ideally tailored and peaceful oasis. For Jo Churchill, this is rewarding and satisfying feedback indeed.
Architect: Churchill Architects
Product: Petersen Kolumba™ K91 bricks
Builder: 3D Constructions and Developments
Interior Stylist: Symmetrie Interior Design + Styling Studio
Landscaper: All About Gardens
Photography: Anjie Blair