Drake Brockman Home

WINNER ACT MBA HOUSE OF THE YEAR 2019

The Drake Brockman Drive home is a series of pavilions crafted into a multi-generational house.  Custom designed for its location with very high sustainability credentials, suitable for ageing in place and enjoying outdoor living, it is a house for all ages and for all times.

This property is a substantial dwelling with many areas given over to space not found in a typical suburban dwelling. The client has a strong interest in fitness and entertaining yet also requires areas that allow privacy and quiet contemplation. This design provides all these aspects without flamboyance or ostentation.

The architect, Tony Trobe, ensured that the most important rooms in the house were placed in an ideal position, with good solar orientation relating well to protected outdoor spaces and the view. The concept of a series of pavilions clustered around a central courtyard, allows options for different relationships from inside to outside and helps the building protect itself against the elements. This broken-down scale also allows flexibility for the building to fit comfortably within the topography of being a residence situated within the landscape, not on top of it.

Of high importance in this project are the spectacular views of the Brindabella Ranges to the south. In addition, rectangular elements facing North on the long side are required to maximise energy efficiency and these key considerations were implemented in the overall conceptual design. The use of pavilions also allows for easy zoning and the consequent ability to close off wings that are not being used. This contributes to the overall sustainability credentials as it ensures that only the necessary areas are heated and cooled. The overall energy balance is moderated by a sophisticated climate control system.

The large property encourages entertaining of all kinds, featuring several zones that can be used in all seasons. The multi-layered pavilion style floor plan is designed around an exquisite inground pool that can be accessed via multiple living spaces. The internal views to the courtyard and pool are as important as the views to the hills. The courtyard space has been designed to be used as an outdoor room to cater for entertaining. It is protected from the wind and is a strong visual feature from many viewpoints within the dwelling.

The inside-outside aspect of modern living is emphasised by a seamless flow from living areas to courtyard spaces, using integrated flow through drain grates allowing on-grade thresholds from house access points.

A luxurious cabana is positioned to the rear of the pool featuring large sliding doors that retract into a wall pocket opening the cabana directly onto the pool. Within the cabana, there is a custom wood fireplace, entertainer’s kitchen with built-in BBQ, beer taps and fridges.

An additional entertaining wing located to the south-east of the property is centred around socialising in a protected environment, whilst still enjoying expansive views across the Brindabella Mountain Range. Included within this wing is a wine cellar, bar and lounge, pool room, gym and private guest quarters. 

The Drake Brockman home embraces a wide variety of energy efficient technology, designed with autonomy in mind. Solar technology has been installed on the property’s nearby sheds to leverage their roof space and supplement power to the residence.

Energy efficient Stiebel heat pumps have been used to provide hot water to the entire residence and supply the hydronic in-slab heating system which is used to heat the home during the winter. This fully integrated system is also used to stabilise the large outdoor pools temperature in the colder months.

ThermalHEART broken aluminium architectural windows and doors maximise efficiency and comfort within the home. This system offers substantially improved insulation properties for the building, as well as greater resistance to solar heat gain.