The décor is serene in its simplicity. The primary living spaces, grouped around the north-facing Japanese zen courtyard to optimise solar gain, feature crisp white walls paired with timber-look porcelain tiles, punctuated by recycled timber joinery and doors, plus triple-glazed timber windows.
Underpinning the architectural intent are the feature doors, custom-designed and crafted from locally-sourced recycled timber by the Pichelmann team, in collaboration with Canberra sawmill, joinery and recycled timber yard Thor’s Hammer. With elaborate gridwork accented by glazing and wrought iron, the aesthetic of the doors is quintessentially Japanese.
The sliding double doors that lead into the main bedroom, weighing in at 160kg apiece, hang from a rolling iron barn door track imported from the US, and required laser-precision in installation.
‘Even if they were 1.5mm out of level, the doors would either roll open or shut of their own accord because of their weight, so accuracy was pretty extreme.’
The most challenging aspect of the project was the hydrotherapy pool room. The walls and floor of this highly luxurious space are adorned with subtly-lit jade tiles, sourced from Indonesia by the owner. Composite timber planking around the edge of the pool evokes the rustic appeal of a traditional Japanese onsen.
The pool itself is a heated, stainless steel flat-pack sourced from the US and the in-ground installation and associated electrical work was quite complex. To prevent chlorine-contaminated air from circulating through the rest of the house, the room is fitted with its own air exchange system.