The client brief was to conceive a house with high design content introducing changes of level, mezzanines, cantilevered elements, and appropriate roof forms. Designing a 500m2 house on a 400m2 block dictates a well-considered form and richly detailed, intimate inside/outside relationships. The unique corner site adjacent to a lane makes it fundamentally different to the facade based emphasis of its terraced neighbours. The location makes an invitation to express an articulated ‘book stop’ that wraps to the laneway. Key design determinants are the views of Lake Burley Griffin and the available solar access. These constraints have largely dictated the plan form and massing on a limited site.
The sustainability issues were seen not just as important ‘add-ons’ but to be seamlessly integrated into the design. This concept is addressed by the inclusion of features such as; a 44 panel 10KW PV array on the roof, solar driven hydronic slab heating combined with solar hot water, high thermal mass in the form of suspended concrete slab construction, double glazed low-e windows with thermally broken frames, sophisticated solar control by external louvers, 20,000 litres of water storage under the house and effective natural ventilation including a thermal chimney.