This is one of my favourite houses that we have designed in twenty years. The reason for this is not to do with the size and cost of the house but the fact that the house is a sanctuary for the family. The rooms have been designed to flow into each other with no barriers such as doors. Each space created has a defined use and each space is unique creating a different feeling in each room.
The views to Parliament House and the canopy of trees beyond were my first impression of the site. This view is captured in all rooms of the house and can even be seen in the backyard of the block. The design of the house allows the backyard and front yard to be viewed from the formal and informal zones of the house.
The design of the house looks simple but the design process to create this simplicity has been vast. The lounge design is focused around the family area allowing the formal and informal spaces to be separated by the kitchen and the central staircase. The kitchen has been designed so that the family can be viewed while in the pool and the entertaining area. The kitchen is the central space of the house. Upstairs contains three bedrooms which have a common television area and common library. All bedrooms have ensuites. The house also has a rooftop garden area that has a barbeque, seating and a great view to Parliament House and the city.
In terms of sustainable design, grey water systems were employed using large water tanks. The water was utilised for use in the gardens, toilets and the laundry. The house has no air-conditioning and relies on cross-ventilation and a simple fan placed in the roof space which is used to extract heat from the lower floor by a shaft, therefore creating air circulation throughout the building (the cost for the fan was $245.00). Heating is achieved through the use of coils in the slab and a slow combustion fire in the lounge room. The house requires no other form of heating or cooling. All windows are double glazed throughout the home and all sealed for loss of heat or heat gain.
The house elevations have a very sculptural feeling and this was to create privacy to the bedrooms and allow light into living rooms.
The use of rock on the face and timber allows for warm and cooler materials to blend, which creates a very inviting and interesting home. The lines of the home also relate to its neighbours.
This house is truly a home, a sustainable and energy efficient home, and a home that will be our legacy.