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This building is sited in a subdivision area of an old sheep farm in the Margaret River region of the deep South in Western Australia. The area of Margaret River has many old cottages from early settlement to rustic rammed earth and timber. This design incorporated aspects from the traditional farm cottages and shacks while also combining modern contemporary forms.
The South West region of Western Australia is continually brushed by frontal systems from the Roaring Forties. It is for this reason that Margaret River is predominantly a cold climate compared to the rest of Australia. We designed a building that made the most of energy from the sun in colder months with large over hangs to shield the heat absorbing walls in summer. The materials used where local granite, concrete and timber.
The design of the house was an L-shaped plan of 4 bedrooms.
Ashton Street residence was based in a rural community between Margaret River and Preverlly in Western Australia. Its feature construction material uses rammed earth in a dual axis design. Both the street facade and an axis wall running from entry all the way through the house. The axis wall was a feature element that separated the private and communal spaces. Because the heaviness of rammed earth we choose to lighten much of the other elements with glass, timber and a lightweight floating roof geometry. The rear of the property bordered onto natural bush which allowed us to open the entire north and east living area up using large glass sliding doors without loosing privacy.
The eastern area was protected by a large overhang alfresco area for summer BBQs and entertaining, while the northern facades had awning depths calculated to make the most of the northern aspect sunlight.
Smithton House design was a collaboration design with Architect Gary Hole in south west Tasmania. It was a single story 3 bed room house. Limestone Rammed earth walls and bedroom alcoves are the main features that give the house its contemporary form. Hydro thermal flooring was used inside to keep the temperature warm in what is mostly a cold climate.
Under the house is a concrete thermal accumulator.
The design makes the most of the northern aspect on sunny winter days. Extra insulation in roof and argon gas double glazed windows where implemented so that heat loss was minimised from the extensive glass facades.
© 2018 by John Pott