The owner’s original house sits on this now subdivided site. There is a stark contrast between the former and the new. The original, near level, cold, uninspiring with limited outlook and nestled privately located on a quiet crescent. The new on a difficult and implausible site hindered by steepness, access and busy a roadway yet provides vastly better aspect, amenity and comfort via a strategy of planning, building technology .
Restrained by virtue of requirements and site this simple yet sophisticated building inserts itself changeling the constraints imposed upon it.
The owner’s sought a solar passive, modern residence and family home. They wished to take advantage of the magnificent river Derwent and D’Entrecasteaux Channel views. The proximity to the busy road way and its significant traffic noise were serious concerns.
The residence encompasses three levels. Only the uppermost, the entry level, is apparent from the street. A concrete and steel bridge connects to the road. Facing the roadway, windows have been avoided to protect privacy. Upon entry, the visitor progresses through to an open plan living/kitchen area that provides a private and peaceful environment which is at the same time open to the sun and the layered river vistas. Lower sleeping levels become increasingly quieter with final level exit to the garden some six metres below road level.
Performance of the building has been superlative in terms of comfort, energy use and sound isolation. To achieve this amenity, framed walls sheathed in insulation, a rubber membrane and a polystyrene skin were used along double glazing. Floors are of polished concrete to provide good thermal mass and passive thermal performance. Throughout the building great care has been taken to minimise sound intrusion but also to maximise the buildings performance
The owner is quoted in the media as saying “The house is SO easy to live with.’ There are other matters critical to architectural appreciation but that perception goes a long way to justifying architectural intervention.