Being accepted to design a substantial house and outbuildings on a large rural site was exciting. There were a lot of briefed issues to be considered: many and frequent visitors; kitchen as the heart; roaring fires; robustness; easy care; the growing and active family; an evolving family eventually leaving home and visiting as young families; pool house; gym; home office; helping hands; machinery storage; environmental issues; limited power and services; stabling of the ponies; dogs, chooks; books…
Many sketches were produced in the early stages, in order to arrive at appropriate solutions. A significant number of sketches passed hands between myself and the interior designers appointed for the project.
The house came to comprise a main living pavilion, children’s bedroom pavilion, pool house, double garage, machinery shed and stables.
The house performed particularly well in terms of it’s energy rating compliance, incorporating a number of systems to support it’s efficient, sustainable design:
- North facing living areas.
- Shading to west and east facades.
- Heavy, pelmeted curtains.
- Double glazed timber framed glazing.
- Compartmentalisation of spaces.
- Cross flow ventilation.
- Thermal mass – concrete floor slabs / brick wall ‘spine’..
- Solar assisted gas hydronic slab heating.
- Solar hot water.
- Photovoltaic cells.
- Wetback fireplace – to assist hydronic heating.
- 100,000 litre underground water storage.
- Solar pool heating.
Some of the issues that effected the architecture, the site layout and the materials incorporated were: bushfire compliance requirements; distantly located mains power; no town water or sewer; access to the families ponies; and visual amenity.
The result is a striking contemporary residence proposed to be clad in fibre cement weatherboards, concrete block, folded copper sheet, galvanised steel sheet, cedar and hardwood.