Project: Montville Residence
Architects: Sparks Architects
Location: Montville, Australia
Area: 1,722 sq ft
Photographs by: Christopher Frederick Jones
Montville Residence by Sparks Architects
Sparks Architects have designed the spectacular Montville Residence on the western edge of a forested property on the Blackall Range near Montville in Australia. The plot has access to breathtaking views all around it. It is also heavily forested which played a key role in the planning of the building and the orientation of the interior layout.
The design maximizes the site’s access to the panoramic views through two pavilions that slide against each other, one slightly out of position against the other. There are plenty of open spaces and a large amount of glass surfaces that shower the interior in sunlight.
The dramatic topography, bush setting of the Obi Obi Valley and Kondalilla Falls; and diverse climatic conditions of the hinterland were the driving forces for this design.
A simple pavilion form was adopted which allowed for a rational approach to planning and structure whilst permitting the varying depths of bush view to form the backdrop to the patterns of daily life.
Precast concrete rainwater tanks as thermal buffers and spatial dividers. The tanks are partially buried in the site to allow for small plywood ‘bed nests’ to sit above them, regaining the lost space of the tanks footprint. The tanks and their hoop pine nests become ‘precious objects’, protected by the robust outer shell of masonry, steel and glass.
The draped roof of the building, a subtle echo of the sites topography, allows for appropriate pitch and northern orientation for the photovoltaic array, direct rainwater feed to the internal tanks and appropriate shading for winter and summer sun angles.
The deceptively small building is a pragmatic response to the owners desire to live a simple sustainable life whilst enjoying the virtues of a very beautiful setting.
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