A contemporary bushland house designed for a couple with young adult children that love the outdoors and entertaining. The Walsh River site is a prime location perched above the Walsh River in stunning savannah bushland. The house is located at the summit of a hill overlooking a lake and boasts 360 degree views of the surrounding rural outlook. With access form the south, the linear orientation of the house divides the hill it is sited on. With the restricted access the site posed a number of design challenges, including environmental and bushfire overlays.
The views, orientation, topography and context generated the form and materiality of the house. Due to the bushfire zoning and termite the main structure is steel framed, with a combination of block and stones sourced from the property. The house is three levels, with the uppermost level accommodating the master suite with a veranda surrounding the room so the client could see all aspects of the property.
The site is off the grid -all power is generated from solar panels at ground and water turbine from the dam, gas is provided via storage and sewer is a septic system. Water is collected from the curved roof forms to water tanks at ground.
The Walsh River House uses a range of passive design principles besides its orientation in plan.
The microclimate at Ariga differs to the Wet Tropics, here there is little rain, winds are dusty and the winters are chilling. The house, with its wide overhangs and surrounding veranda is designed to exclude the summer eastern and western sun from the external walls as well as open up to funnel cooling south easterly breezes. Stone walls are cavity wall construction almost 500mm thick to the west to reduce heat entering the internal spaces, wide overhangs to a verandah that surround the second floor living spaces successfully keeps the heat load of the walls surface.