house was designed for a large, flat (no views) lot in Queensland, Australia.
Security was essential, yet the owners wanted to be able to sleep with bedroom
windows open at night. The living room at the center of the house with a peaked
roof was to be cool, but the living space was to extend to the walled garden
and lap pool with a shaded gazebo close to the kitchen/dining area. Guard
dogs were to be contained in a dog run during the day with access to the front
garden at night, and the dogs were required to be able to see the front doors
and driveway from behind security gates.
sunken living room under the peaked roof is cool but bright with clerestory
windows set 10ft off the floor on all sides. These 3ft
square windows are above concrete beams set on 12 concrete pillars - 3 at
each corner. The 17ft square living room has 4ft of walking space surrounding
it beyond the pillars - providing the living room with an expansive feel -
and creating two recessed blank walls to display large art works visible from
the living room.
approaches the front door of this Queensland house from the drive, passing
under a trellis thick with bougainvillea which covers the north facing (sunny)
front of the house to filter the hot sun rays. When one steps up onto the
skid-proof entrance tiles, one passes a trickling water fountain in a recess
to the right of the front doors. There are two 4ft square skylights in the
canopy above the front door entrance, and a similar skylight in the entrance
hall. Glass block panels are set on both sides of the double front doors.
Visitors are clearly visible from inside the den window to the left.
inside there are two 8 ft coat closets behind bi-pass sliding doors (mirrored?).
One steps down into the living room past the entertainment console (contains
TV and stereo components etc.) and looks up at the peaked ceiling over the
living area which has 3ft of louvered windows on all sides above ceiling height
- for cross ventilation - with a ceiling fan at the peak to keep air circulating.
There are ceiling beams round the perimeter of the living area supported on
12 circular pillars - 3 at each corner (see inside living room detail). Steps
set into the tiled concrete floor on all sides of the living area lead to
a 4ft perimeter walk beyond the pillars. The overhang of the peaked living
roof cuts direct sunlight into the living space during the heat of the day.
the living area one looks across the dining area through windows and double
glass doors to the (grape vine covered?) peaked gazebo and lap pool in the
walled garden. The lap pool is 4ft deep, 8 ft wide and 30 ft long - though
it can be lengthened and deepened of course. The lap pool can be heated by
having the circulating pump (located in the 'pool stuff' room) pump water
through black solar collector pipes laid on the flat roof of the house. Additional
two horse pumps can be added to create a current to swim against in the lap
pool - with air switches at pool side.
an eating bar from the dining area into the kitchen, with a walk-in pantry
between the kitchen and entrance hall. The den is just off the entrance hall
with a guest toilet just before entering the utility room where the washer
and dryer are under a laundry folding counter. An outside door from the utility
room opens into the walled dog run - in case one wishes to sun dry laundry.
Guard dogs can see visitors arriving at the front door from the iron gate
to the side of the carport, and will have access to the gazebo garden at night
when the second set of iron gates is left open.
bedroom has a privacy door leading from the living space thus isolating the
bedroom, bathroom and garden. #2 and #3 bedrooms have privacy gardens but
share a bathroom which has it's own garden too. These bedrooms and bathroom
are isolated by a privacy door also leading from the living area. The privacy
gardens each have metal grills over head for security - occupants can sleep
with doors and louvered windows open at night listening to the trickling water
fountains - one in each privacy garden. The metal grills can be released from
inside for escape in case of fire.
is a substantial workshop at the rear of the carport, and the carport itself
can be easily enclosed to provide a double garage. The U shaped enclosure
off the carport is for garbage containers - 'wheelie-bins' to Aussies.
house was designed for a north facing viewless lot in Queensland, Australia.
It has the traditional peaked living room roof. The flat roof holds a few
inches of water for evaporation and cooling purposes - down spouts are raised
3 inches so that the roof can be flooded during hot spells - even though the
roof is well insulated against the heat.
is cinder block or brick on a concrete slab. All the floors can be tiled except
for thick plush carpet in the living room and perhaps bedrooms. The window
cavities contain from the outside an accessible insect screen, built-in burglar
bars, louvered windows, then horizontal privacy blinds.
is this house affordable?
house has 2559 sq.ft. of living space, though the walled garden and privacy
gardens off the bedrooms provide additional visual space. The workshop is
288 sq.ft. while the 'pool stuff' room is 99 sq.ft. The 24ft square carport
provides another 566 sq.ft. of covered space. Construction of the flat roofed
sections of the house is simple, while the peaked roof provides 'attitude'.
Concrete block walls with built-in burglar bars and insect screens make the
louvered windows secure.
questions? Don't hesitate to email Plum Design and ask. Suggestions will be