It's a rare opportunity to have a blank canvas as a site in Sydney's inner suburbs, but one that presented itself in this case to the architects and was seized to re-imagine a truly sustainable house typology.

By working with and framing the orientation, views and topography of the site, the architects have created a home that is not only sustainable, but also deeply connected to the surrounding land and water.

It is arranged as a collection of interconnected spaces defined by beautiful details.

The house is shaped by the particular conditions of the site so that it opens up to the north and east, capturing sun in winter and cooling breezes in summer. At the same time the house creates a barrier to the south and west, keeping out cold winds and excessive heat. The outdoor spaces are framed by the L-shaped plan arrangement and therefore protected from the extremes of climate almost year-round so that they become integrated into the daily rituals of living.

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Externally climatic variability is achieved through elements such as the counter-weighted movable screen along the west fa├žade, providing shade and protection from winds when needed.

Internally the house is only actively heated on 2/3rds of the ground floor, making use of the stair as a chimney which funnels warm or cool air upwards depending on the season. The chimney effect is assisted in summer by a roof installed wind worker, drawing hot air out of the stairwell and bringing fresh air through the house. In winter the chimney effect is assisted by a pair of variable speed fans located on the first floor which circulate warm air rising from the ground floor in-slab hydronic system. The concrete slab also acts as thermal mass capturing heat in winter. Cooling is achieved entirely through cross ventilation and ceiling fans, no air conditioning has been installed.

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The house is served by a 5000L rainwater tank used for the garden and connected internally to the laundry and downstairs bathroom. Water efficient fixtures and fittings have been used throughout.

The primary structure, cladding, decking, flooring and joinery are constructed from sustainably sourced timber, a renewable resource low in embodied energy. Care was taken to minimise waste by utilising full cladding and plywood sheets as the module of construction.

This is a house for all seasons, giving shape to the particular conditions of site and climate.

KEY INITIATIVES

  • Form follows climate
  • Incorporation of passive solar design principles
  • Stairwell designed as solar chimney with heat recovery system
  • Use of low-VOC and low embodied energy materials
  • Timber used for primary structure, cladding, decking, joinery and detailing
  • Bespoke systems encourage occupants to adapt the building to particular climatic conditions

PRODUCTS

HOT WATER
BOSCH, GAS INSTANTANEOUS SYSTEM FOR HOT WATER AND HYDRONIC

HYDRONIC HEATING
REHAU 

PHASE CHANGE MATERIAL
BIOPCM

WINDOWS
DOUBLE GLAZED LOW-E TIMBER DOORS AND WINDOWS

RAINWATER TANK
5,000 LITRES

SOLAR
TRINA, 3.5KWH SOLAR PV SYSTEM

PAINT
MYTHIC PAINT, ZERO VOC PAINTS FOR ALL INTERIOR SURFACES

HARDWOOD TIMBER CLADDING AND DECKING
WOODFORM ARCHITECTURAL

TIMBER PANEL CLADDING
CARTER HOLT HARVEYSHADOWCLAD, 

INTERIOR PLYWOOD
BIG RIVER