Cut Paw Paw

Seddon / Australia / 2014

77
77 Love 9,541 Visits Published

What?
Cut Paw Paw is a renovation and extension to a double fronted weatherboard home in
Seddon, Victoria, Australia.


Name?
Cut Paw Paw is the name of the parish in which the house presides, and a name that the
owners liked very much. It’s a weird name, hence we like it too.


Why?
Construction sites are fascinating and often very beautiful. When wandering the street and
stumbling upon an anonymous house in construction we all get excited by the possibilities.
We all imagine what the finished building could be like. The site holds so much promise
when there is nothing more than a timber or steel frame. It is a jungle gym, a relic, and a
skeleton full of play and imagination. Often it is when a building is at its most beautiful.
All too soon the excitement, the imagination and the potential comes crashing down as the
reality of the finished building becomes apparent. When the anonymous house is roofed,
clad and finished it is often a disappointment as the banality of the McMansion emerges.
The beautiful skeleton that held such potential and required such imagination has been
buried beneath the ordinary, the obvious and the banal. The home will not again be
interesting until it eventually begins to crumble and decay.
Cut Paw Paw is a structure that is deliberately incomplete. Derek and Michelle, the
owners, asked that the house be “ridiculously inside-out”. To accomplish this we not only
employed tested and successful ideas such as sliding walls, bifold doors and decks, we
also left the building incomplete. The central space, between the dining area and the
studio, is an unclad frame within and surrounded by garden. It is both inside and outside. It
is both a new building and an old ruin. It is both garden and home.


Sustainable?
Like all of our building, sustainability is at the core of Cut Paw Paw. Rather than simply
extruding the existing structure we have run the new form along the southern boundary so
that it is soaked in sunlight. The openings and windows have been designed to optimise
passive solar gain, thereby drastically reducing demands on mechanical heating and
cooling. All windows are double glazed. White roofs drastically reduce urban heat sink and
demands on air conditioning. We have a pond on the face of the larges north facing
opening. While providing a home for fish and plants, the pond also serve as a mechanism
to passively cool the house through natural evaporative cooling. Water tanks and solar
panels have their place as they do on all of our projects. High performance insulation is
everywhere, even in the walls of the original house.

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    What?Cut Paw Paw is a renovation and extension to a double fronted weatherboard home inSeddon, Victoria, Australia. Name?Cut Paw Paw is the name of the parish in which the house presides, and a name that theowners liked very much. It’s a weird name, hence we like it too. Why?Construction sites are fascinating and often very beautiful. When wandering the street andstumbling upon an anonymous house in construction we all get excited by the possibilities.We all imagine what the finished...

    Project details
    • Year 2014
    • Work finished in 2014
    • Contractor Mark Projects
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Single-family residence
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