The Seed House wins the Grand Prix at the 2019 Australian Timber Design Awards
Author: David Rowlinson
Already the subject of considerable acclaim, The Seed House in Sydney’s Castlecrag is an exemplar project that combines a sensitivity of the site and awareness of materials with an attention to detail that reflects the passions of the architect and owner, James Fitzpatrick.
He describes The Seed House as “Utilising the latest technologies in engineered timber construction, this healthy home imbues a sense of warmth and comfort. Every bracket and screw is used to inform the overall aesthetic of the home, with materials selected so to develop a patina of use and character with time. The normal is sculptured to become the beautiful. Its experimentation in construction and engineering has supported the architectural vision. It is a forever home, yet it is home to a young family. It will adapt and change as they do, forever.”
Constructed primarily from structural cross-laminated timber panels, glulam columns and finished with lining boards, The Seed House wraps the occupants in timber. Adding to this, the joinery and furniture are all made from timbers sourced from the bottom of the hydro lakes of Tasmania. Species used include celery top pine, huon pine, radiata pine and blackwood.
The apparent simplicity of the stacked pod design belies the complex geometries, large spans, and cantilevers that required hundreds of hours of computer analysis to create the optimum structural and aesthetic solution which defines the interior forms and finishes. This process led to the development of new detailing and fixing systems to address the unique Australian environmental and construction industry requirements.
The Seed House was a worthy winner from an impressively strong field in the 2019 Awards. The breadth and depth of the entries in the 20th year of the Awards reflects the increasing popularity of wood and wood products in the built environment - a trend that is expected to increase as more mid-rise residential and other commercial projects realise the significant financial, operational and environmental benefits of using timber construction systems.
Author: David RowlinsonMake it Wood Program Manager
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