This is a weekend escape … an environmentally friendly escape, in Bundeena, NSW, Australia. Set low on the site, the house is situated on a rocky outcrop at the edge of a secluded beach in the Royal National Park, and presents its roof, and roof garden, as its primary elevation, while connecting the street through the garden to the water beyond.
The green roof reduces heat absorption, provides insulation, and reduces solar gain and heat loss; collected rainwater is recycled to irrigate the garden; a sixteen panel photovoltaic system and Tesla battery—seen as a linear reflection pond within the roof garden—provides all the electricity needs. It was important that the photovoltaic panels, that they are integrated into the roof garden, serving as an example of how environmental features can enhance, rather than detract, from a design.
In the middle of the roof garden sits a sculptural skylight that glows at night to signal the presence of the house, and to draw sunlight inside during the day, while its butterfly shape restricts overheating of the interior through the use of strategically oriented, vertical triangular panes of glass. In addition, controlled openings with fixed perforated screens to the upper-level windows, and a pergola to the lower level, also provide protection from the western sun. A mix of materials, a weathered steel “sleeping box” houses the bedrooms, and floats above a glass living box, intersected by a timber multi-purpose box.
It’s an escape from the work week and an escape from burdening the environment.
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