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Australia River Residence
Residential Development in Australia – design by PUSH, architects
30 Jun 2009
Photos: Clare and Papi Photography
New Australian Residence
Australia River Property
The house is set on an expansive site with south facing river frontage and a dramatic 30m elevational drop to the tidal zone. The design resolves itself as a classic courtyard home with a two storey ‘L’ shaped volume and a separated single level guest wing framing the double height court. The courtyard is penetrated by openings to the north, under and through the high level fretted screen; and to the east between the buildings to the pool. The change in scale of fenestration, solid building masses and opening voids create the spatial variations evident in classical courtyard design. The courtyard is the nucleus of the house. All common areas of the home, pool and landscape connect directly to this zone and allow for the owners to maintain casual surveillance of all areas of the site from a central position.
Orientated to the North East to take full advantage of passive environmental benefits, seasonal sun control is controlled by a fixed louvre screen that creates a visible statement to the street front and defines the court as the entry threshold for the house.
The plan diagram seeks to integrate the river aspect setting with usable north facing outdoor living and safe play areas. The L-shaped plan, generally one room deep to promote natural ventilation, frames a large double height roofed court, providing shelter from the western & southern aspect.
The thin southern leg of the plan contains the main living areas. This part of the plan has glazed walls to the North and South elevations such that the river aspect is allowed to merge with the courtyard and the living areas are treated as the viewing edge to the steep river embankment.
The western leg of the plan houses most of the services for the house and is designed to a shield to the house from afternoon sun and harsh weather direction. The pool and lawn areas have been strategically located to align with prevailing breezes to aid cooling of the external living areas and adjacent internal space.
The home has been terraced to respect the natural contours of the site, minimise site cut and fill; and control cost. The changes in level have been used to aid the collection of rainwater and control stormwater flow.
The river-walk stair initiated the built works and follows a line of least resistance through the site to the river. Over 80m in length, the stair only connects with the ground 14 times to reduce site impact.
The journey from house to river is punctuated with intermediate platforms that have been strategically located to capture views and interact with natural site & architectural features.
Given the client brief to maximise vistas and to develop a strong relationship with the river, it is notable that there are few areas in the house or anywhere on the site where these connections cannot be made
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