Wallaby Lane House

Architecture Residential Tinbeerwah , Australia

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Jolyon Robinson

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Description

Wallaby Lane House and Studio are located at Tinbeerwah on the Sunshine Coast. The dwellings were designed by Jolyon Robinson of Robinson Architects for a family relocating from Sydney, with construction finalised late 2013.
The site, a long sliver in shape, is just over 2 hectares. Established bushland in the centre of the property separates the two buildings. The property is not serviced by town water or sewerage. An onsite waste water treatment system looks after both buildings and rainwater is harvested.
The house sits high on the site and is linear in plan to follow the natural contour. The house plan is spacious yet compact. No space is wasted. Orientated to the north, large eaves and a fly-over roof shade the building. Cross ventilation, natural daylighting and beautiful views to Cooroy Mountain are maximised.

Questions and Answers

What makes this project different?

At its heart, Wallaby Lane's strength lies in its simplicity.Through its contrast and restraint the buildings complement its environment and its hinterland context.

Sited high and following the natural contour of the land, the long, linear house pivots north capturing the natural breezes. Large eaves and a wafer-thin 'fly-over' cantilevered roof clear of structure shade the building whilst allowing views of Cooroy Mountain.

What was the building / land like before the project started?

A quintessential Noosa hinterland site, with a stunning mountain view and the challenges of a bush block: the need for self sufficiency, sloping topography, challenging access, remnant bushland and existing neighbours.

What was the inspiration for the design?

Visually simplistic with clean lines the house is a well executed and resolved example of the linear plan. The main house was to be visually seductive and environmentally responsive. The approach was to plan the main building on the natural contour of the land, pivoting to the north. This laid the foundation for along linear building.

A remote studio offers respite and solitude in a suitably nurturing and endearing built form.

The studio was a different dwelling for visitors, yet needed to share the same services. The studio was positioned on the other side of the bush, to take advantage of the magnificent setting, the view to Cooroy Mountain and for privacy.

Did the design change much during the design and building process?

We put a lot of effort into the sketch design phase of our projects. This is a good investment of time as if our interpretation of the brief is accurate nothing much changes throughout both the design development process and eventually the construction. Little changed from the initial concept.

Were there any particularly memorable moments throughout the project process? Any funny/interesting stories?

The build was plagued by rain delays. Eventually, the family (including dog) chose to live on site in the bush studio and so were eye witnesses to the building process.

How would you describe the clients?

A small blended family relocating from Sydney, the project was more than a new house, representing a complete change in lifestyle.

What was the client's brief for the project?

Wallaby Lane is a family home in the Noosa hinterland. The client had spent some years living in Bali and admired modern tropical buildings. The house was to be nurturing and uplifting and provide separate accommodation for guests. Practicalities included the need to be self sustaining, energy efficient and conform to a strict budget. The design was to include a pool and cater to indoor/outdoor living in a subtropical climate.

What were the challenging aspects of this project?

Like most residential projects, the motivations for the project were largely emotive and expectations were high. A building that could deliver both practically and emotionally was paramount. The budget was strict and the site and weather provided particular and occasionally unforseen challenges.

What sustainability features does the project have?

The platform of the building essentially sits on natural ground and follows the existing contour. A skillion roof provides maximum sun protection from the northwest and allows soft natural day lighting into the interior from the southeast. This solution has also enabled the house to be naturally cross-ventilated.

A suspended polished concrete floor throughout the living areas provides the thermal mass

to the building. Low e glass and large overhangs provide a very comfortable

internal climate.

The house collects and provides its own water and manages sewerage on site.

What was your solution to the brief and the challenges involved?

The main house is visually seductive and environmentally responsive. The solution was to plan the main building on thenatural contour of the land, pivoting to the north. This laid the foundation for a long linear building. The studio was a different dwelling for visitors, yet needed to share the same services. The studio was positioned on the other side of the bush, to take advantage of the magnificent setting, the view to Cooroy Mountain and for privacy. The house draws on established ideas, such as the use of a mix of heavy and light weight construction, wide eaves and natural day lighting.

Details

Project size

335 m2

Completion date

2014

People

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Jolyon Robinson

Architect

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