The client asked Charles Wright Architects to design an off-grid home on the edge of the FNQ beachfront rainforest. The goal of the home was to make the most of its natural surroundings and ensure the home had little impact on the environment. CWA worked closely with the National Parks, Environmental Agencies, and State and Local Governments to come up with the final solution.
Sited on a small spit of land in the water and arranged in a star-shaped layout, the home is accessed via a walking bridge over the water. Enclosed rooms are located out in the projects of the stars and the interior is left open to the environment as a shaded courtyard. The cantilevered design mitigates impact from flooding or king tide inundation due to cyclones. It was designed to withstand category 5 cyclones and is thus classified as a cyclone shelter.
Besides being disaster-proof, the home is powered with a rooftop solar system and has solar backup that is not reliant on fossil fuel generation. Rainwater is collected from the roof and stored in a 250,000-liter cistern. The home includes an on-site tertiary sewerage treatment plant as well as grey water recycling and irrigation. Thermal mass, thermal mass storage for cooling, efficient mechanical systems and building automation minimize energy use for climate control.
Images ©Charles Wright Architects