Winner of the Sustainability award at the 2011 House Awards, this residence revisits the separation of 'public' and 'private' space. It uses space around private volumes for ventilation and insulation, rethinking methods of achieving environmental sustainability in Australia's hot climate.
Responsbile for the design, Tribe Studio were challenged by the long and narrow site. Using this to their advantage, light and air is pulled in from the northern end, from above and from low windows on the western and eastern edges. The house is inwardly focused on the business of family life and on unexpected vertical internal views that change with the passage of the sun.
In temperate climates, designing for good solar access is often the first and most important consideration. As the residence is a long, narrow pavillion facing north, this posed an interesting challenge for the design team. Tribe Studio presents a unique and interesting approach to this problem. The 'private spaces' of the house (the bedrooms and bathrooms) are expressed as a series of floating boxes in the large, double-height space, hovering over the 'public' spaces. Pulled away from each other they are protected from the heat of the roof and the western facade, which can be vented through the upper-level skylights.
Built within a tight budget, the residence is honest in its material palette and uses industrial construction techniques. The floor is structural concrete slab with in-slab heating/cooling. Low light windows and concealed operable skylights promote cross and stack-effect ventiliation.
Side penetrations are limited to allow the house to focus on the pool and direct sunshine at the northern end, and northern light and air penetrates the depth of the plan from the skylights over the double height voids.
The exterior offers a clean, shed-liek form which defers to a visually busy neighbourhood, with its wide variety of building styles, periods and types. On a steel portral frame, the exterior is conveived as a wrap of sheet metal lined in bracing ply, within which the pristine plasterboard boxes hover.