Recently I was fortunate enough to take a mini-vacation to the fabulous Flinders Ranges. These are the largest mountain ranges within South Australia and are spread over 430km. Wilpena Pound (where I stayed) is a natural amphitheatre that attracts most tourists visiting the region. On the long journey back to Adelaide I stopped for a coffee and bite to eat in a place called Jamestown. Interesting this is where Tesla solar batteries are made and business is booming. Certainly, sustainable energy is a hot topic at the moment and a key part of Austin Maynard Architects new ‘Garden House’ project. In fact, it actually uses a 26kwh Tesla battery to store energy.
Previously I have written several articles about Austin Maynard Architects featuring projects like Kiah House, St Andrews Beach House, Toy Management House and Union House. The common link is sustainable energy and restricted plot sizes. This was also the challenge with their latest project called ‘Garden House’. Presently, Australia is experiencing a property boom and homes are achieving well over the asking price. Inner Melbourne suburbs are some of the expensive areas to live in the country and land is at an absolute premium. That is why owners are renovating existing homes rather going through the overhaul of moving.
The brief presented to Austin Maynard Architects was to transform a tired, single-fronted cottage, with a 1980s extension into an ultra-modern 3- bedroom home. They also want to retain as much of the existing garden as possible. To achieve this architects Andrew Maynard and Kevin Hui decided to break the home down into multiple zones and use reflective materials like mirrors to create the illusion of space. By using 50% fly-ash content cement, double studded walls and double glazed windows (with thermally broken aluminium frames) they have achieved lower emissions.
Impressively, ‘Garden House’ is a fully automated home, which means Blinds, lights, fans can be controlled remotely. The house also delivers fresh, filtered air at a constant temperature of the interior of the house via an intelligent heat recovery ventilation system. On top of this, there is a 15,000 storage tank and 17kW of solar panels. To date, this is Austin Maynard Architects most sustainable home. Internally, the level of décor is exceptionally high and polished concrete, exposed brickwork and timber have been used to great effect.
Photos by Derek Swalwell