About this project

You could be forgiven for thinking this beautiful home is in the middle of a eucalypt forest, but you’d be mistaken. Just minutes from the CBD, the property is situated in the foothills of Mt Wellington, Tasmania, on a steep and spectacular 3.8 hectare ex-quarry.

The clients’ brief was clear from the outset. Their major priorities were for a contemporary home with light-filled spaces that integrated sustainable design principles with the ability to be carbon neutral into the future. According to building designer, Mike Cleaver, the building’s inspiration was derived from natural plant forms reaching from the terra firma towards the sun. The site afforded a number of challenges and opportunities. Ultimately, the design concept was to bunker the home deep into the quarry site, allowing it to seemingly emerge from the hillside and connect with the natural environment. In fact, this was a key sustainability strategy.

The rear roof is deliberately pitched just above ground level, with dual roof planes reaching up to the northern sun and mountain views. Calculatedly large eaves control northern solar access during winter and summer. The southern rear walls of the home are earth-bermed, providing additional thermal efficiency to the battened insulated wall, and the strategically positioned dual-pitched roofs allow abundant northern solar gain. Ventilation is further enhanced through the double glazed Low E clerestory windows. Elevate™ Series 704 SlideMASTER double glazed stacker sliding doors were the obvious choice for the project, as they provide the ultimate combination of maximum solar gain and heat retention. A proportionate thickened and insulated polished concrete slab and internal concrete block walls enable the correct balance of passive thermal gain in winter.

Mike was specific in his choice of Elevate™ Aluminium window and door systems. He explains, “The use of inclined steel columns and exposed lintels was combined with Elevate™ Aluminium Systems to span large openings, creating a seamless transition onto the northern external decks and vista beyond. Importantly, the ease with which these large openings function is second to none.” Extensive glazing provides the design with its open, bright and unique interior. As you move through the upper floor, the intensity of light creates a spatial experience as it floods the circulation space. From the lobby, expansive internal butt glazing and a large, frameless, glazed pocket door provide a flexible barrier between internal spaces. Additionally, multiple high-end Elevate™ Series 704 SlideMASTER stacker sliding doors accentuate the transparency and physical connection between inside and out. It is these transparent boundaries that provide a sense of spaciousness attributable to the widespread use of Elevate™ framing. Overall, a visually appealing and luminous environment has been created through the strategic integration of extensive glazing to appropriate façades and internal partitions throughout the home.

The high-performance and contemporary sections of the Elevate™ Aluminium Systems range are the perfect complement to this Cleaver-designed residence. Other Elevate™ systems utilised throughout the project include, Series 650 Hinged Door, Series 466 Awning Windows, Series 464 ClearVENT Sashless double-hung windows and Series 424 CentreGLAZE. This sensational project has been recognised for excellence in design, winning numerous awards at the 2011 Building Designers Association of Tasmania’s 2011 Awards presentation.

Architect

Mike Cleaver