Built to withstand the elements
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.