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Glenburn House, Glenburn, Australia

Wednesday 05 Nov 2008

Soaking up the sun

copyright: Sean Godsell, images: Earl Carter 
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Sean Godsell Architects complete house with a solar skin 

Glenburn is approximately 90 minutes drive north east of Melbourne in the rolling foothills of the Yarra Valley. The site is 20 hectares of re-invigorated farmland with a national forest abutting the north boundary. The house is located at the top of a hill and enjoys panoramic views of quintessentially Australian landscape. It is partially embedded into the hilltop as a means of protecting the occupants from the prevailing weather and buffering the west side of the building from extreme heat in summer.

The clients for whom the house was constructed are committed to environmentally sustainable design, and the building skin which is an identifiable part of the architects' work includes solar collectors for power and hot water. Other elements such as double glazing, rainwater harvesting and digital power management make this apparently simple house a sophisticated device for passive environmental management.

The plan extends the architects' research into the notion of ‘abstract verandah’ to include a barcode motif in the plan. A series of discrete spaces, organised in a way to suit the client’s particular requirements, results in a coded arrangement that is unique to them – a tectonic thumbprint for living.

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Sean Godsell Architects

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