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Client: Private

Location: Tusmore, SA

Completed: 2016



Dimitty Andersen

Tom Doull

Emma Scott

Michael Queale

Tim Fenton



Tusmore Avenue Palms 

The value of this project lies in the Aristotelian theory ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’. A collection of spaces unified by their geometry and finishes creates a coherent environment, while encouraging an appreciation of the grand botanical surroundings.


The built outcome of this project could be described as a ‘deconstructed palm’. The scope included a new garage, pool and associated landscaping and alterations to an existing stable building, adjacent to a significant residence designed by Sir Kenneth Milne in 1920.


Described in 1912 as “the finest collection in the State (hardly excepting the Botanical Gardens) of palms, cedars, firs, oaks and other rare and beautiful shade and foliage trees”, the established trees at Tusmore Avenue Palms, provided the catalyst for the strategic arrangement of raised decks, garden beds, steel pergolas, timber screens and a swimming pool. The result is a collection of straight-lined external spaces and built forms that engage intimately with the established flora.


An arborist was engaged to analyse the palms to ensure the design of the pool maximised the available space, while protecting the structural integrity of the western palm. In addition, the garage was located in the clear zone between the two ‘tree protection zones’ and in alignment with the main front façade of the house, as not to impose unsympathetically on the front site elevation.


In keeping with the appearance of the existing bungalow, the garage is designed using similar materials with a traditional form but not replicating the original detailing.  The 3-car garage also acts as a visual barrier to shield the play space from the street.


The palm segments and pine needles were inspiration for the design of the slatted and shading devices that are oriented in multiple directions and axis. Creating ‘shadow play’ that is ever-changing as the sun and shading devices move during the day, and responding to the different condition and activities taking place.


Shelter is provided from falling palm fronds and for carparking, outdoor dining and children’s play, while tiled excavations facilitate swimming, splashing, exercising, therapeutic relaxation and even a stage for performing. Designed to be the centrepiece of outdoor entertaining, the design supports a range of different scenarios, whether it is inhabited by an individual or by party of 60 people.

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