I get a kind of Austin Powers meets Jetsons vibe from the Planchonella House; it’s very mod and hip and retro and urban and jungle all at the same time. Perhaps that’s because the house was designed with a simple idea in mind: to create a series of joyful spaces to inspire and enrich daily life.
Set in tropical north Queensland, Australia, the house embraces the rainforest that surrounds it through a use of the contours of the site ridgeline to form the playful lines of the concrete roof and floors.
And yet the house is firmly rooted into the hillside so as not to protrude out over the ridge; it tucks back in at the critical highest most revealing point allowing the “wings” at each side of the ridge to float into the surrounding rainforest and become part of the tree canopy. The large flat roof with generous overhang acts as a rainforest canopy above, and minimal walls and minimal columns allow for un-obstructed views.
This omission of boundaries between inside and outside gives an openness that is surreal, living completely within and engulfed by a beautiful landscape. The resolution of plan follows a purely functional approach to use of space, privacy, visual connection and passive design principles.
The plan wraps around the courtyard space, which is considered the second hearth — after the kitchen — and the courtyard acts as an oasis that provides sun, light, ventilation, visual stimulation, and entertainment.
It’s kinda cool, kinda wow!