A project little out of the ordinary

Clarence Gardens

Sometimes a project comes along that is a little out of the ordinary. This is one of those. The client is a sound technician; sound recorder and musician who wanted to integrate living space with sound recording capabilities. The wedge shaped plan for instance was driven by the need to break up the primary sound reflections to improve sound quality. Also the walls are triple leafs of masonry to give very high thermal and acoustic mass to eliminate external noise. Whilst sustainability was a strong part of the brief, the acoustic brief requirements took precedence. Surprisingly, the forms, spaces and details were not in conflict, resulting in a building that performs well on both counts. The acoustic clouds deserve special mention. They were a labour of love by the owner, both in mathematical and construction terms. They are certainly a point of interest in the completed space.


  • ​Plan shape to optimize solar access

  • Thermal mass in floors (polished concrete)

  • Very high thermal mass in walls

  • High levels of insulation in walls and ceilings

  • Commercial aluminium windows with double glazing

  • Natural cross ventilation

  • Solar pergola to north deck

  • Sunshading to windows – broad roof overhang

  • Sweep fans

  • Sloping ceilings with high level awnings

  • Single width rooms for optimal natural ventilation

  • LED lighting​


WALLS: Concrete block

ROOF: Colorbond metal sheeting

FLOOR: Polished concrete with central timber inlay for acoustics

WINDOWS: Commercial aluminium frames with double glazing

CEILING: Plasterboard and hoop pine clouds

CLADDING: Alucobond