In this week’s home tour, we explore an architectural new build that embraces a broad materials palette to create a character-filled home. While many new builds can lack an emotional connection, you’ll see the playful and sentimental elements weaved throughout ab House avoid this problem. Ben Walker from Ben Walker Architects takes us on the tour.

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ab House_Ben Walker_front
ab House_Ben Walker_kitchen

Mixing materials, textures and even colours, this home showcases many unique features brought to life by Ben and his architectural team.

“This 2-storey home is located in the north of Canberra. It includes 3 bedrooms, open kitchen and living spaces, a 2-storey study, rumpus, garage and wet areas,” explains Ben.

“It was designed and developed with careful consideration of the site and to the number of nuances in the clients brief.

“They wanted their new house to provide great living amenities that respond to the conditions of the site and performs well thermally during the year.

“The Canberra climate can be quite challenging, given the large range of temperatures between the summer and winter peaks.”

Shop the look: ab House

Set 3 woven baskets
Set 3 woven baskets
Cow planter
Cow planter
Moroccan floor cushion
Moroccan floor cushion
Wall tapestry
Wall tapestry
Blue DeLonghi kettle
Blue DeLonghi kettle
Leather armchair
Leather armchair
Mustard pleat pot
Mustard pleat pot
Tablet and recipe book holder
Tablet and recipe book holder
Thomas Edison chandelier
Thomas Edison chandelier
Set 3 woven baskets
Set 3 woven baskets
Cow planter
Cow planter
Moroccan floor cushion
Moroccan floor cushion
Wall tapestry
Wall tapestry
Blue DeLonghi kettle
Blue DeLonghi kettle
Leather armchair
Leather armchair
Mustard pleat pot
Mustard pleat pot
Tablet and recipe book holder
Tablet and recipe book holder
Thomas Edison chandelier
Thomas Edison chandelier
ab House_Ben Walker_bookshelf
ab House_Ben Walker_timber cabinetry
ab House_Ben Walker_coffee nook

Home to a family of 4 and their beloved pooch, the owners wanted to add their own playful and sentimental elements to their new abode.

“The house has a playful side, to showcase the home owners interest in bespoke and whimsical design strategies. This is most evident in the cantilevered rear balconies. Each has a different projection length to reflect the heirarchy of interior bedrooms.

“In the powder room, they contain unexpected textures and colours that are reminiscent of a speakeasy from the 1920s. And also in hidden doorways that are ‘dressed’ as joinery elements,” explains Ben.

“One of the family’s favourite playful and sentimental elements are the hardwood boards that make up the external eaves, screens, landscape elements and internal vanity joinery.

These have been milled from their own family farm on the south coast of NSW. They give the house a strong connection to the family history of craftsmanship.

ab House_Ben Walker_back facade at night
ab House_Ben Walker_wall art

A mix of contrasting materials was also used to give the home its unique facade.

“The external finishes include charcoal coloured folded panel sheeting, recycled Canberra red bricks and Blackbutt timber,” says Ben.

“The bricks are typical of early pre-war Canberra houses. The clients were keen to reflect this condition in their new house. The charcoal metal cladding provides a clear contrast to the red bricks and assists in articulating the folding metal ‘veil’. And the timber screens and eaves linings provide detail and warm textures.”

“I think my favourite elements are the internal voids. They provide a sense of generosity in the interior volumes and throw light to the lower rooms. They also provide internal communication spaces between the upper and lower floors.

“I also love how the home celebrates the incredible elevated views of the mountains to the east and west of Canberra. The family get to experience the views each and every day which is pretty special.”

Thank you to Ben for showing us around another impressive Canberra home. To see more projects from Ben Walker Architects, visit their website or Instagram page.

There were so many playful and sentimental elements to discover, which was your favourite? Tell us in the comment section below.

Photography — The Guthrie Project
Builder — Ewer Constructions
Joinery — Matrix Joinery

Check out more real homes here

ab House_Ben Walker_street view
ab House_Ben Walker_facade
ab House_Ben Walker_kitchen sink
ab House_Ben Walker_living room red brick wall
ab House_Ben Walker_void
ab House_Ben Walker_bath
ab House_Ben Walker_bathroom details
ab House_Ben Walker_upper level
ab House_Ben Walker_living
ab House_Ben Walker_fence

Shop the look: ab House

Set 3 woven baskets
Set 3 woven baskets
Cow planter
Cow planter
Moroccan floor cushion
Moroccan floor cushion
Wall tapestry
Wall tapestry
Blue DeLonghi kettle
Blue DeLonghi kettle
Leather armchair
Leather armchair
Mustard pleat pot
Mustard pleat pot
Tablet and recipe book holder
Tablet and recipe book holder
Thomas Edison chandelier
Thomas Edison chandelier
Set 3 woven baskets
Set 3 woven baskets
Cow planter
Cow planter
Moroccan floor cushion
Moroccan floor cushion
Wall tapestry
Wall tapestry
Blue DeLonghi kettle
Blue DeLonghi kettle
Leather armchair
Leather armchair
Mustard pleat pot
Mustard pleat pot
Tablet and recipe book holder
Tablet and recipe book holder
Thomas Edison chandelier
Thomas Edison chandelier

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