A site to behold
WHEN a homeowner, architect and builder are the same person, the result is a stunning property like the Southern Outlet House.
Architect Philip M Dingemanse said his family’s Southern Outlet House was a sitespecific study of the contribution a private residence may make to the public domain.
Situated on a north- east facing slope adjacent to a major arterial road in the Launceston suburb of Prospect, Philip said the core requirements of a “climatically responsive and comfortable family home’’ underpinned the project.
“The building was sited and planned to maximise the attributes of the location and work within the constraints of a steep slope and restrictive budget,’’ he said.
“It also delivers on the core brief requirements of a family home closely connected to the garden.’’
Philip adopted a strategy from early 20th century naval camoufl age, the dazzle technique, employed not in order to conceal the mass of the building but rather to manipulate its public face, adjust its scale and suggest another dimension to the otherwise fl at facade.
Another infl uence was the impact of heavy vehicle traffi c and large rectangular loads, which were referenced in the home’s formal strategy and literally in the addition of “truck lights to defi ne the roof edge’’.
“The public face is perhaps changed in its form and nature and becomes just another highway directional sign, vehicle, billboard or piece of public art,’’ he said.
Philip’s design was relatively small in fl oor area, however, a high ceiling in the living area provides an air of generosity.
Studio views across the living spaces and its large work bench forms a ceiling to the sunken lounge below, providing an intimate and sheltered area within the larger volume.
The children’s area has the capacity to be separated into two spaces as needs change with age.
Philip said each living space had a different connection and experience of the site.
He said the terrace and outdoor living space was focused on the foreground garden, native bush and high- level foliage.
“The dining wall opening removes the foreground and focuses on the city view opposite and mountains beyond,’’ he said.
“The lounge incorporates the arterial road and distant views beyond. Connections made to outside and the interior fi nish function to make a comfortable and welcoming family home.’’
The building’s structure is entirely timberframe construction and the interior is lined with FSC- certifi ed plywood.
The entire building envelope is insulated beyond building code requirements and mineral wool insulation is augmented with a high- performance rigid- phenolic insulation board.
All of the facade cladding was installed over a batten to form a fully ventilated external skin.
The limited building fl oor area – 144sq m of thermally controlled habitable space – reduced the use of building materials.
Philip said the use of FSC- certifi ed plywood on the interior ensured absolute control and use of all the material, reducing waste and cost.
“High levels of thermal control of the building envelope, good solar orientation and utilisation of energy- effi cient technologies limit current and future running costs, together with longterm environmental impact,’’ he said.
Philip M Dingemanse runs a Tasmanian architecture and design studio in his own name that engages in residential, interior and commercial projects.
The Southern Outlet House was nominated in the residential architecture new houses category in the Tasmanian Architecture Awards.
To vote in the 2014 Tasmanian Architecture Awards People’s Choice Prize, visit www. architecture. com. au/ events/ state- territory/ tas- events- awards Voting for the people’s choice award closes on June 18.
Anyone interested in putting their own home up for consideration for house of the week can email email@example.com