Sofia & Otto’s Playground – 2016 ATDA Alteration or Addition Winner

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The Australian Timber Design Awards have named Gaetano Palmese Architects the 2016 winner of the Alteration or Addition (Residential Class 1) Application Category for their project Sofia & Otto’s Playground.

Sofia & Otto’s Playground is an environmentally sustainable modern Pavilion Addition to the existing white painted brick colonial house, which is contrasting in form, material and colour.

The use of timber imbues a crafted quality to the new additions, exhibiting the skill of the builder in the meticulous resolution of details. Timber was also selected for its durability and for its environmentally sustainable credentials.

Architect/Designer: Gaetano Palmese

Engineer: Aldanmark

Fabricator of Windows and Doors: Imatech Joinery

Fabricator of Joinery: Custom Cabinets


A variety of Tasmanian Oak timber windows and doors have been used externally and internally to the new timber framed and clad pavilion addition as well as for new doors to existing locations within the existing colonial period house allows a diversity of light, views, ventilation and engagement with the outdoors.

Double glazed units throughout for thermal properties except for mitred glass corner and for bathrooms and service rooms where low e glass has been used.

Timber was chosen because of visual and tactile considerations – warmth and texture of timber versus alternatives such as aluminium; the traditional window material in keeping with yet contrasting in style and natural finish with white painted windows of existing colonial era house; and the integration with timber framing and cladding.

The sustainable properties were also important: timber windows minimise thermal transfer in cold climate; the benefits of inherent embodied energy and carbon in timber versus other materials; the longevity of timber (with proper maintenance); the benefits of using timber from managed forests; and the benefits of using local materials manufactured by a local joiner.

The ‘lean-to’ roof form and dark stained locally sourced hardwood cladding of the pavilion addition seek to evoke traditional farm outbuildings and also the spirit of the Tassie ‘shack’. Natural finish timber has been used to add visual and tactile warmth within the primary dark volume for the window projections and the welcoming recesses of the new entry and back porch as well as internally. Timber cladding was the natural choice and the harmony of new to old is most apparent looking back to the pavilion from the garden which is Sofia & Otto’s Playground.

Tasmanian Oak plywood timber panels have been used as internal wall linings to the new Pavilion Addition provide a degree of visual and tactile warmth whilst contrasting with the white painted walls of the existing colonial period house.

Select Tasmanian Ash veneered panels have been used for the kitchen joinery and window seats as well as for the exquisitely detailed and made pivot doors to the New Entry and Corridor.

Tasmanian Oak plywood timber panels have been used as internal wall linings to the new Pavilion Addition providing a great degree of visual and tactile warmth.

The natural finish of the timber panels acts as a foil to the dark stained exterior of the new Pavilion Addition whilst also being a contrast to the white painted walls of the existing colonial period house.

The plywood wall panels were relatively inexpensive but have been installed with a great deal of precision by the builder, elevating their status and giving the interior a crafted quality.

Select Tasmanian Ash veneered panels have been used for the kitchen joinery and window seats as well as for the exquisitely detailed and made pivot doors to the New Entry and Corridor.

There are also custom made elements such as the delightful turned dark stained Celery Top Pine handles and the solid Tasmanian Ash sided LED light beam over the kitchen island bench.

Timbers used in this case study:

Structure

Framing: 

Timber wall framing constructed from Tasmanian Hardwood

Exterior

Windows: 

Select Tasmanian Oak

External Cladding: 

Tasmanian Yellow Gum

Interior

Flooring: 

Select Tasmanian Ash

Internal Paneling: 

Tasmanian Oak

Doors: 

Select Tasmanian Ash

Joinery Cabinetry: 

Select Tasmanian Ash

Interior Stairs: 

Select Tasmanian Ash

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