Caravanserai - French Island

Architecture Residential French Island , Australia

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1 Video

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Caravanserai - Move and Completion video

3 Minutes - Pineal Productions Lai Cheong Brown designed this prefabricated farmhouse which was brought, by truck and barge, largely complete, to the remote French Island in Victoria Australia. The home is entirely self sustaining and off grid as the Island is without basic services, made roads or even local government. The house was prefabricated off site in Wonthaggi by specialist prefabricators Ecoliv.

Description

The project's principal design decisions were driven very much by the location of the house on an Island disconnected from mainland Australia by road and not serviced by any public utilities or Council amenities. The site sits on a ridgeline looking out across Philip Island to Bass Strait and back across bucolic, pastoral landscapes to the French Island National Park. This leads to views in almost all directions which we were keen to capture but also to an intense exposure to the winds and driving rain coming in off the Strait. Our solution was to design a simple square form courtyard house which would provide a sheltered outdoor space while also maximizing daylight and natural ventilation into a house that was going to need to be self-sustaining in terms of power. This worked well with the prefabricated nature of the build, enabling an easy module breakup, and allowed us to route circulation around the courtyard while living and bedrooms were given the opportunity to look out to sea. A family project, the house needed to accommodate aging grandparents while also allowing friends and extended family to stay over when occasionally marooned by bad weather.

Details

Project size

192 m2

Completion date

2015

Project team

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Lai Cheong Brown