Built to with­stand the el­e­ments

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - HOME - Jar­rad Be­van Any­one in­ter­ested in putting their own home up for con­sid­er­a­tion for house of the week can email jar­rad. be­van@ news. com. au

SET on a windswept hill­side over­look­ing Fred­er­ick Henry Bay, Pre­ston Lane Ar­chi­tects’ Mays Beach project evolved from a prag­matic re­sponse to the chal­lenges of oc­cu­py­ing an ex­posed and of­ten ex­treme coastal site.

PLA di­rec­tor Daniel Lane said the de­sign was born from these con­di­tions.

He said the de­sign ro­bustly re­sponds by es­tab­lish­ing the house as a “wind­break” to the bay.

“This ges­ture, in turn, cre­ated a haven from the el­e­ments tucked in be­hind,” he said.

Stretched across the site, the house fol­lows the lie of the land. The sim­ple form is higher at the front, ad­dress­ing the scale of its con­text; and then low­ers to the rear to al­low a more hu­man scale to pre­vail.

Act­ing as the me­di­at­ing el­e­ment, the tough east­ern el­e­va­tion is used as a wind­break but also as the means of struc­tur­ing the spa­ces be­hind.

“Care­fully po­si­tioned open­ings link se­lect func­tions while also es­tab­lish­ing views – panoramic and con­trolled – from and through the house,” Lane said, adding the south­ern and north­ern edges es­tab­lish the book­ends to the build­ing con­tain­ing the out­door space at the rear.

“All sides of the build­ing work with the site to shel­ter the western edge … with a court­yard, out­door fi re­place and the en­try to the house all be­ing lo­cated along this pro­tected edge.”

The project fol­lows a fun­da­men­tal set of sus­tain­able prin­ci­ples to min­imise its en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact upon its ru­ral site.

Through­out the project, se­lec­tions have been made to min­imise ma­te­rial use – the form of the build­ing is based around a sim­ple effi cient trussed struc­ture – and se­lect re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als were used where pos­si­ble.

Lane said the Wether­tex cladding wrap­ping the en­tire build­ing was man­u­fac­tured from a by- prod­uct of the hard­wood tim­ber man­u­fac­tur­ing process.

“So­lar traps around the build­ing pro­vide heat­ing while fi n win­dows have been used to al­low for eas­ily con­trolled cross ven­ti­la­tion,” he said. Ex­ca­va­tion was kept to a min­i­mum. “The project’s el­e­vated po­si­tion in part al­lows the site’s ex­ist­ing con­tour to re­main rel­a­tively undis­turbed.

“Wa­ter tanks have been used to pro­vide a wa­ter sup­ply for the house and gar­dens and al­low the clients to es­tab­lish a veg­etable gar­den to eat lo­cal in an other­wise dry and chal­leng­ing site.”

THIS project has been nom­i­nated in the res­i­den­tial ar­chi­tec­ture new houses cat­e­gory in the Tas­ma­nian Ar­chi­tec­ture Awards.

To vote for the people’s choice prize, visit ar­chi­tec­ture. com. au/ events/ state- ter­ri­tory/ tas- events- awards.

Voting for the people’s choice award closes on June 18.

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