Walless Cabana | Walless Architecture

A Sympathetic In-Between Sydney / Australia / 2020

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Positioned at the edge of the Field of Mars Reserve, Walless Cabana is the heart of family living, where people and nature come together harmoniously and embrace each other. In creating a seamless transition between the existing family home and the distant bushland, Walless Cabana deliberately curates the language of its surroundings through the Japanese concept of 'Shakkei' or borrowed scenery, ensuring its humble and respectful presence in place. Despite being a permanent structure, it is a transient space that adapts and changes dynamically with everchanging nature, personalities and lifestyle.


The brief was to repurpose an underutilised grassed area at the far end of a family's rear yard and create a new addition to uplift the growing family's lifestyle and well-being. The original intention was an enclosed room for pool area entertainment, but further site exploration suggested a different approach – to create a place that connects rather than separates.


We recognise the missing link between the family home and its context - the pool and bushland and re-establish this connection by incorporating the narrative and language of the immediate surroundings into the design. The conversation between these spaces begins with a new doorway, an enclosure, and steps leading from the family home to the pool and bushland. Through geometric expression and deliberate placement of openings and frames, the edges of the proposed structure were then dismantled and blurred, allowing the distant landscape to be borrowed and incorporated into the formation of Walless Cabana.


Although oriented toward the pool, Walless Cabana echoes the family home and bushland through a considered play of form and materials. Towards the bushland, the use of smaller sectional columns, detached walls and a slim roof accentuates the lightness of the structure and its openness toward nature. On the other side, the sense of enclosure is continued through the expansion of the muted white motif and the brick material from the existing home, with an added contemporary touch of stack bonded pattern, suggesting a gradual transition between the build and nature.


Sited in a bushfire 'flame zone' area, Walless Cabana is a testament to resilience, reinforced by enduring materiality and robust structure. The structure's asymmetrical aesthetic, made from the irregular placement of walls and floor, directly responds to the trapezoid-shaped site and the sewer clearance zone at the corner. These site constraints underpin the concept of building less and working with the surroundings, resulting in a cost-efficient and minimalist structure that is enduring, sympathetic, and connected.


Being the anchor among the family home, pool and bushland, Walless Cabana positively establishes a continuous flow through its presence and reactivates a connected living. The mutual appreciation of each other can be felt regardless of being in the house, pool, or at the Field of Mars Reserve, where neighbours get together yearly to celebrate their friendship and nature.

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    Positioned at the edge of the Field of Mars Reserve, Walless Cabana is the heart of family living, where people and nature come together harmoniously and embrace each other. In creating a seamless transition between the existing family home and the distant bushland, Walless Cabana deliberately curates the language of its surroundings through the Japanese concept of 'Shakkei' or borrowed scenery, ensuring its humble and respectful presence in place. Despite being a permanent structure, it is a...

    Project details
    • Year 2020
    • Work started in 2018
    • Work finished in 2020
    • Main structure Masonry
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Single-family residence
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