Green Magazine #68 July-August 2019

GREEN MAGAZINE is Australia's leading magazine for inspirational stories on sustainable architecture featuring local and international houses, gardens and profiles. Discover spectacular city, country and coastal homes and gardens featuring environmental design with lots of personality, as well as profiles on people engaged in new and exciting projects.

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1 Min

The nature of Australia’s vast and varied landscape requires unique architectural responses. Climate, vegetation and topography all determine a successful outcome, with a careful study of the site even more crucial than it is in an urban environment. In this issue, we take a look at six very different houses that are a reflection of their particular regional or coastal environments. On a windy, exposed site in Queensland, Sparks Architects designed a house to embrace its place, responding like a boat to the prevailing breezes (pg 58). Inland, on an isolated and ecologically diverse landscape and with temperatures reaching extremes of hot and cold, architect Brian Steendyk required an intricate understanding of materials to deliver a home befitting the landscape (pg 28). In the less intimidating hills of Byron Bay the…

4 Min

Bits and Pieces The “Moju Shelf” is as flexible as the day is long. Its four components can be combined into countless variations and its timber, bracing and connector finishes can be customised. minamina.com.au Lunar Justin Hermes crafts furniture pieces using salvaged and reclaimed timber from his Adelaide Hills atelier. The “Mün Chair” is equal parts furniture and astronomic event: when viewed as part of a table setting, “it evokes the rise of the full moon over a distant horizon”. justinhermesdesign.com Playful The “FORM lights” were produced as part of a collaboration between Milligram and Melbourne multidisciplinary design firm, ODO. Designed with a focus on functional simplicity, these playful pieces can adapt to any space – so we would like one for every room. odo.co Mod u lar The “Adapt Round Ottoman” is the very definition of…

4 Min
a priori

It’s the 80s, a decade remembered for decadence and excess, perhaps best encapsulated in the now-infamous “Greed is Good” Gordon Gekko monologue in the 1987 film, Wall Street. Living and working in London for the very first architectural office to be listed in the stock market, Ric Zen, growing tired of the business-as-usual approach, decided to return home to Australia and establish a small office with an ecological focus. Influenced by the work of Greg Burgess, for whom Ric worked as a model maker, Zen Architects opened doors in 1989 to join a very small cohort of architects and building professionals who were at the time engaging in a particular discourse which we nowadays have come to call ‘sustainable design’. Critical to the formation of the practice and its direction, Ric…

4 Min

When mist envelops the gully below or the morning sun rises against the mountainside, there is a shift in the quality of light and with it the atmospheric conditions found in this special place – a nature refuge in the mountainous landscapes between Warwick and Stanthorpe, Queensland. Owners of the property, Craig and Sandy, were drawn to the area for reasons beyond the experiential. “We were really keen to make a contribution to preserving the biodiversity in south-east Queensland,” Craig says. “I grew up on the Darling Downs and it’s a really special place. It’s a hotspot for rare and endangered plants and animals.” The combination of isolation and elevation has fostered a place of opposing and converging ecosystems. “There’s a mix of rainforest, eucalyptus forest and grassy woodland, and at…

2 Min

Architect Steendijk steendijk.com Passive design Thermal mass of concrete slab and block walls with brick facing keeps the building cool in summer and retains warmth in winter. Brickwork has a three-layer composition to address heat lag of external skin. Walls are 510-millimetre wide composed of: 110-millimetre brick, 50-millimetre air gap, 190-millimetre core-filled block, 50-millimetre air gap, 110-millimetre brick to operate similar to reverse brick veneer. North-facing glazing with low-E interlayer. Rigid insulated ceiling positioned to prevent condensation. Cantilevered northern eaves with depth of overhang designed to admit winter sun and preclude summer sun penetration. Louvres allow cross ventilation and control over cooling breezes. Active design Slow combustion heater in living area by Morsø (model “7642”) from Barbeques and More. Low-wattage direct current ceiling fans in bedrooms by Airfusion. 21-litre per minute LPG efficient condensing demand system from…

5 Min
sand and sensibility

Family shorthand helped Patrick Kennedy arrive at a design solution within a couple of months for his cousin’s tricky, dramatically sloping double block behind the dunes at windy Sandy Point, near Wilson’s Promontory. Construction by local maestro Gene Laity took a year, and planning another, due to conflicting requirements for environmental sustainability, bushfire protection and on-site sewage treatment. But the concept came quickly thanks in part to the architect’s intimate understanding of how his clients and her extended family have spent rambling summers here for decades. Having designed the Northcote home of Fiona and her husband Tony Swingler 20 years back, Patrick saw their need for a different approach here. He achieved it with a combination of technical detailing and an approach to design, intensity of colour and moderation of…