Tucked into a hillside on a large property outside of Victoria, Australia is the Tanderra House by Sean Godsell Architects. Warm summers and hot winds batter the site, so the home is partially dug into the ground to minimize exposure. Arranged in an L-shape, the home has ample outdoor space and shaded to prevent overheating. A solar system is located on a nearby shed and the low impact home also makes use of rainwater collection, thermal mass for heating and cooling, and eco friendly materials.
Located on a 40 ha site with distant views of the ocean to the west, the home is also exposed to a powerful prevailing wind from the north. To maximize on views, and minimize the effect of both the hot summer sun and the northerly wind, SGA tucked the L-shaped home into the hill. This creates an automatic courtyard between the hill and the home and still allows for views to the west. Shading on the north side allows for daylight without overheating and operable shades on the west allow for changes in light throughout the day. Circulation corridors are not contained inside the home, instead they are relegated to the outdoors, which helps the home breath and opens the interior up to enjoy the environment.
The 285 sq m (3,067 sq ft) home includes 3 bedrooms and 2 baths with the living room and kitchen located at the corner of the L to take in the best views. Double glazed windows, elimination of thermal bridging and a spine wall structure that is filled with concrete masonry to create thermal mass helps improve energy efficiency. Rainwater is collected in a 100,000 liter tank in the ground and sewage is treated and used for irrigation of the garden. A nearby shed features a solar system and the floor is recycled black butt wood. The ground slab is insulated and in-floor heating fed via from tank water also acts in reverse in the summer to help cool the home.
Images ©Earl Carter and Sean Godsell