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Private Residence, Currumbin Eco Village, Queensland, Australia

Tuesday 27 Sep 2011

A little gem in Australia

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No. of Comments: 2

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07/02/12 G Grimes, Brisbane
Lachie, I understand your comment but so far the building regulations & the absolutely obnoxious covenents [being legally challenged] and the climate [a lot of rain] places constrained soultions [materials] in this Eco Village. This house is THE ONLY one that meets/betters all those requirements - a very difficult exercise.
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05/10/11 Lachie, Kyneton
This article is a little disappointing. I love the enthusiasm for this building and it's not that all buildings need to be glitz and glam and it doesn't even need to be criticised but this mould of what makes a "truly eco building" needs to be broken. I've just built a modern strawbale house of my own and I pushed the boundaries - not so that I could say that I did but because of buildings like this that are held up as great eco-friendly architecture.

I'm sure it's nice place to live but It doesn't look particularly anything other than a fibro-shack-esque attempt at "eco" which is what leaves clients and architects both believing that eco is something that hippies do and therefore people don't take it seriously when it comes to the crunch. Not that I want to take anything away from what appears to be a pleasant and successful building. Unfortunately the form is so homogenous.
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Eco-residence in picturesque Queensland landscape 'pride and joy' of retired couple 

Though coming in at only 144 sq m in floor area, this little gem packs a punch when it comes to considered eco design. The two bedroom, two bathroom, home office, cosy abode is the pride and ongoing joy of a retired couple dedicated to living sustainably. They carefully chose this almost perfect site; a north facing 1 in 7 sloped property on Mango Lane, located in the Terraces Hamlet of the Currumbin Eco Village in Queensland, Australia.

The house design evolved over almost 6 months with the resulting plan forming two pavilions linked by an angled breezeway. The development covenants severely restricted the allowable building footprint thus creating challenges to fit and orientate this humble home in an optimum way for this part of the world. The resultant overall form of the main pavilion expresses the need to collect rainwater (the roof faces falling to a large central gutter discharging at both ends into storage tanks). This roof configuration also eliminates any possible sun glare onto neighbours (this building is being considerate).

Stringent building covenants (some over-the-top ones are being legally challenged) included the requirement to use ‘recycled’ materials (timber, tin, concrete, masonry, windows & doors) in the majority of the construction. In this house, it was chosen to use recycled timber flooring, new plywood joists and rafters (intelligent use of timber and easier for the site workers), new plywood & metal claddings. For the Main Deck (the outside ‘day room’) some ‘rescued’ large timbers were used to give this space a subtle distinctive prominence on the north-east corner from where the residents can while away the hours in conversation with friends or neighbours and having a magnificent view over the countryside to enjoy.

A surprise benefit of the ‘butterfly roof’ and the resultant ceiling form in the living area was the magnificent acoustics of the room. The output of a humble CD player can transport the listener to an orchestral auditorium - community singing classes are held in the space. The design was set up so as allow owner input during construction. One of these inputs was the commissioning of some stain glass windows. In the main living area, an eastern highlight features a ‘morning’ bird while the western one displays an ‘evening’ owl. This little gem provides day-to-day joy for the occupants as they go about the daylight hours, growing vegetables, fruit and native flowers.

Geoff Grimes
T/A Synarchi Group

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
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WAN Editorial

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