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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Glenhope House in Melbourne, Australia by JOH Architects

 
January 20th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal

The house is a family weekender located on approximately 100 acres in the granite belt roughly one hours drive north of Melbourne.

DESIGN
The obvious site for the house has panoramic views of the surrounding hills with the existing site access road approaching from the south. We created a circular driveway at the head of this road leading to covered car spaces, which radiate off the driveway, and provide sheltered access directly through the boots room or laundry on either side of the main entry door. The dwelling has three wings built around this central circular drive, bedroom / study wings along the east & west sides, with the main living, kitchen, dining and decks along the north. A gallery connects the three wings and main entry. The bedroom wings are mirrored geometric compressed cement sheet boxes with deep reveal windows providing shade and weather shelter. The main living, kitchen, dining and decks facing due north are under one long blade corrugated roof structure supported by high rustic timber trusses which are supported of a rammed earth blade wall. The rammed earth wall also separates these areas from the gallery walkway, which links all three wings and the building entries.

Image Courtesy Dianna Snape

  • Architects: JOH Architects
  • Project: Glenhope House
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
  • Credits: JOH Architects
  • Year: Completed 2009
  • Builder: David Tucker
  • Architect Design: Christian O’Halloran
  • Area: 355m2
  • Photography: Dianna Snape
  • Software used: Designed and documented using AutoCAD

Image Courtesy Dianna Snape

BRIEF
Our brief “in simple” is summarized in the points below;
1. A contemporary dwelling to comfortably house the entire family, but with the opportunity to “zone” when there are only two residing
2. Strong focus to all four elevations – not just a façade
3. Low maintenance natural materials
4. To capture the views in all directions
5. Extensive outdoor areas with shelter from both east or west
6. respect for the local climate (extreme heat & cold)

Image Courtesy Dianna Snape

MATERIALS
Natural timber cladding, decking, trusses and windows have been used along the northern wing with zincalume finish corrugated roofing. The blade rammed earth wall has the same natural finish both inside and outside the building.  Trading Under, Jacobson O’Halloran Pty Ltd – Directors, Christian O’Halloran & Michelle Jacobson – ACN 106 991 691 – ABN 44 106 991 691 The only painted external surface is the compressed cement sheet cladding to the bedroom / study wings. The paint colour was selected to best match the distance eucalypt hillsides (earthy olive / brown), which blends with all the selected natural building materials as well as the surrounding landscape in both summer (dry barren brown) and winter (Lush green hillsides)

Image Courtesy Dianna Snape

SITING

  • The building has been sited to maximise northern solar orientation
  • The building has also been sited to utilise existing site contours and minimise the need for excavation.
  • An environmental waste treatment system has been installed to treat all waste from the building on site and convert to natural drainage
  • Three large water tanks ensure the house is completely self reliant with its water supply

 

Image Courtesy Dianna Snape

BUILDING DESIGN

  • The northern orientation and roof line overhangs along the front living spaces allows the house to rely on natural thermal heating during winter months, while also being shaded from the hot summer sun.
  • Window openings along the northern facade are aligned with halls and window openings in the bedroom wings to draw air through the house and create strong natural ventilation flows.
  • High level windows in the northern living spaces are openable. When opened, these windows encourage natural ventilation flows drawing hot air out of the house.
  • In the bedroom wings, all windows are recessed into the building to maximise eave overhangs and shelter the glass from additional heat loading.
  • The building has been designed to house an entire family, but purposely zoned to ensure only areas of the house being used are heated.
  • All of the above means this house does not entail air-conditioning and only relies on a heating system to boost internal temperatures during winter months when natural solar warmth is not available.

 

Image Courtesy Dianna Snape

MATERIALS

  • The building has been constructed extensively from natural and recycled materials.
  • A rammed earth wall divides the main living areas and the gallery walkway connecting the house to the bedroom wings. This wall assists the internal environment with its thermal mass preventing short term temperature fluctuations to the internal living spaces.
  • All windows are double glazed
  • High levels of insulation have been used in all areas of the building, including under floor insulation

 

Image Courtesy Dianna Snape

SUMMARY
This house has been designed to deal with temperature extremes in a harsh rural environment and to be predominantly self reliant wherever possible, while providing minimal impact on the existing surrounding landscape.

Image Courtesy Dianna Snape

Image Courtesy Dianna Snape

Image Courtesy Dianna Snape

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Categories: Autocad, House

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