Planchonella House by Jesse Bennett Architect | Yellowtrace

Planchonella House by Jesse Bennett Architect. Photography by Sean Fennessy | Yellowtrace

Planchonella House by Jesse Bennett Architect. Photography by Sean Fennessy | Yellowtrace

Planchonella House by Jesse Bennett Architect // Cairns, Australia | Yellowtrace
Planchonella House by Jesse Bennett. Note – original version of the Forres swivel barstool around the kitchen island is by Arik Levy for Bernhardt Design. Enquiries to KE-ZU.
Photography by Sean Fennessy.

 

Architect and builder Jesse Bennett designed Planchonella House with a simple idea in mind – to create joyful spaces, which will inspire and enrich daily life for himself and his family. Set in tropical North Queensland, the house embraces heritage rainforest surrounds and utilises unconventional passive design methods. The simplistic approach and use of LoFi technologies results in a raw and honest dwelling.

The desire to live simply within the landscape formed the basis of the concept employed at Planchonella House. Perched on a hill surrounded by rainforest, a layout was developed that would enable maximum connection to the surroundings without obstruction. Minimal barriers were employed not only for reasons of capturing the landscape, framing views, transparency and connection, but also to assist in creating light-filled, well ventilated spaces. High concrete ceilings aid thermal design and create large generous internal volumes.

 

Planchonella House by Jesse Bennett Architect // Cairns, Australia | Yellowtrace

Planchonella House Jesse Bennett Architect | Yellowtrace

Planchonella House Jesse Bennett Architect | Yellowtrace

 

The restrained, simple palette of materials applied throughout the house responds to the brief for “simple living”. One type of hardwood was applied to timber detailing throughout, adding warmth and practicality to the predominately concrete and glass structure. Preference was given to hand-crafted elements over off-the-shelf items, where furniture, fittings and fixtures were designed and fabricated in line with the overarching design philosophy, resulting in harmonious details.

The ‘L’ shape planning arrangement wraps around the central courtyard space, forming a private master wing at one end, hearth at the centre, and more functional spaces down the alternative wing. There is an easy flow and a connection through all the spaces with the raw monolithic mass overhead, while maintaining mini-spaces within intimate and functional rooms that are adaptable and flexible. The arrangement allows flexibility for a growing family, promoting visual connection and activity through the house, whilst allowing privacy.

Read on for a little Q&A with Jesse Bennet about further insights into this project.

 

Planchonella House by Jesse Bennett Architect // Cairns, Australia | Yellowtrace

Planchonella House by Jesse Bennett Architect // Cairns, Australia | Yellowtrace

Planchonella House by Jesse Bennett Architect. Photography by Sean Fennessy | Yellowtrace

 

+ What was your design inspiration and starting point for this project?

The design is inspired by the surrounding world heritage rainforest and tropical climate. We wanted to create a dwelling that enabled the occupants to live simply in the landscape.

+ Most challenging aspect?

Building on an excessively steep site with terrible access was a huge challenge, as was the fact that we built the project ourselves on a relatively modest budget.

+ What is your favourite part of your design?

Favourite part is the cantilevered breakfast booth, it is a great spot to absorb the filtered morning sun light with a coffee. At the same time it’s a sensationally cosy corner to entertain friends and family for casual dinner and drinks.

 

 

Planchonella House by Jesse Bennett Architect. Photography by Sean Fennessy | Yellowtrace

Planchonella House by Jesse Bennett Architect. Photography by Sean Fennessy | Yellowtrace

Planchonella House by Jesse Bennett Architect | Yellowtrace

 

+ What did you learn during the project?

Detailed material characteristics and behaviours – through hand-crafting each item you learn not only the best way to handle and fabricate certain materials, but also a better knowledge of their potential and best suited application.

+ Would you have done anything differently?

We may have sub-contracted out more trades to get the project finished quicker, but it is hard to find workers with interest and the right skill-set to employ.

+ Any interesting, funny, quirky facts you could tell us?

We lived on-site with a camp shower and small camping stove for over 12 months during the build!

 

Related post: Australian Interior Design Awards 2015.

 

 


[Images courtesy of Jesse Bennett. Photography by Sean Fennessy.]

 

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Team Yellowtrace is a small and highly dedicated bunch of cool kids who assist in the production of design stories, general admin and correspondence associated with each and every post. The team works tirelessly behind the scenes, providing invaluable support to the Editor In Chief. Extreme love and respect to the power of ten!

18 Responses

  1. liad

    From where can I get the wallpaper or fabric with the trupical print behind the bad? Thanks!!

    Reply
  2. Rebecca Hayes

    Would love to know where the tropical wallpaper is from. It is stunning

    Reply
  3. mc

    any chance you can share the source for that gorgeous circular tile in the powder room?

    Reply
  4. Jen Pollard

    Wow. That bathtub and view is amazing. I would never leave. Also, loving the headboard in the master. I would wake up so happy each morning! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  5. Paula Gallo

    It’s a beautiful house but I wonder how many birds hit the glass walls, not knowing there is a hard (and deadly) surface there.

    Reply

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