On the edge of a suburban cul-de-sac, sitting quietly in the landscape, is ‘Vulcan Veil’. Named for its delicate timber rainscreen, made of slender Abodo Vulcan slats, it is the subtleties of this house that makes it stand out from the rest. With busy rooflines and multiple claddings popular on the surrounding houses, Vulcan Veil’s simple silhouette and uniform timber facade are a welcome relief. Blur your eyes a little, and the house almost disappears into the landscape. In the distance, poplar trees that border the neighbouring apple orchard echo the pale timber slats.

Designed initially as a weekend home, with provision for our clients to make the move permanent in years to come, the home needed to function well for both eventualities. A single garage at the southern end of the house is accessed via a shared driveway. Three bedrooms and bathrooms are positioned in the middle of the house, accessed via a central hallway. An open plan area and small second living area complete the northern end.

The simple rectangular form was carefully angled to maximise the outlook to the neighbouring orchard, and avoid looking directly at adjacent houses. Running almost diagonally along the site, care needed to be taken to give privacy to the front façade, without the need for extensive fencing.

The rainscreen solution, stretching the entire length of the habitable space, is not only elegant, but practical. The angled position of the house means that from the street, the slats provide complete privacy, while from inside, the outlook is not obscured. Ample natural light filters into the spaces freely, while a combination of louvres and inward opening full height hinged windows allow air to circulate.

The rear of the house is clad in a concrete toned fibre cement panel, a hard wearing and low maintenance solution for the north east facing aspect. Full height doors and windows maximise the private orchard outlook, in keeping with the simplicity of the form.

The north west facing deck was designed with a large hinged rainscreen panel to act as a windbreak and add additional privacy when entertaining. Identical to the remainder of the rainscreen, when closed it simply elongates the façade, but can be opened as required.

Completed in 2023, we look forward to seeing this house further settle into its surroundings with landscaping in the coming months. Structural engineering services were carried out by Jared Sullivan, Sullivan Consulting.