Gallery: Striking Australian Home is Shaped by the Sun’s Path

The Foyn-Johanson House was designed by Harrison & White in order to receive maximum sun exposure in the backyard.

While the design for the home may strike some as odd due to its complex angles, Harrison & White designed it that way on purpose. The architects found that one of the key issues in Australian housing is how we can use the sun to improve new and existing houses, so they wanted to form a house around the idea of maximizing light in a garden space. Sunlight hits the garden and backyard all day long without the imposition of any shadows from the structure of the house.

The completely sunlight garden space was achieved by cutting away parts of the home to allow both morning and evening sun to hit the backyard. This process is called reverse shadow casting – taking the area of space that is to have direct light and extruding it along the different paths of the sun. This area is then subtracted away from the area of the house, and what is left is a complex form designed with the aid of computer modeling.

After the form of the home was decided upon, the exterior of the house was fitted with a shade screen and ballustrading made out of NewTech™-CleverDeck® composite decking, which is made from recycled milk bottles and risk husks. The shade screen helps protect the interior of the home from solar exposure. Bamboo was used for the flooring inside the two-bedroom home, and durable white-coated steel was used for the exterior. The ground floor living space opens completely to the back yard and garden, while accordion doors aid in natural ventilation.

+ Harrison & White

Via Dornob

Images © Ben Hosking


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  1. birdlarry00 February 16, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    THAT IS A WAY cool house! i love the reverse shadow casting. my favorite part has to be that it is made out of recycled plastic decking. I was just reading about a green tech event recently and I decided that I want to only use “green” technology in my house, too. I don’t think I could afford to build a house quite like this, but maybe some day if I start saving now!!!

  2. Blu Homes Founder Build... October 15, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    […] is composed of an art studio, photo studio, and media room with galvalume siding and sliding cedar sun shades on the exterior and radiant floor heating and bamboo flooring on the inside. A month was all it […]

  3. belgrave_trust September 28, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Really cool. My grandparents did something similar to their farm in NC back in the 70s–covered an old barn with a breezeway–and they\’ve never had to use more than ceiling fans in the summer. Do you know how much of this house is run on solar energy?

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