Planchonella House was designed with a simple idea in mind,

to create a series of joyful spaces to inspire and enrich daily life.

 


Set in tropical north Queensland, the house embraces the heritage rainforest surrounds  and  utilises  experimental  passive  design  methods.  The  simplistic approach and use of Lo-tech solutions results in a raw and honest dwelling. Contours  of  the  site  ridgeline  have  formed  basis  for  the  playful  lines utilised in concrete profiles.  Visual  amenity  from surrounding  lower  areas  has  been  maintained  with  this  design,  in  that  rather than  creating  a  dominant  form  on  the  landscape,  it  tucks  back  in  at  the critical  highest  most  revealing  point.  The  wings  created  each  side  of  the ridge  float  into  the  surrounding  rainforest  and  become  part  of  the  tree canopy.  The large flat roof with generous overhang acts as a rainforest canopy above, minimal walls and columns in between allow for un-obstructed views and moments to  be  shared  with  the  landscape.  This  omission  of  boundaries  between  inside and  outside  gives  an  openness  and  quality  of  space  that  is  surreal,  living completely  within  and  engulfed  by  the  beautiful  landscape.  The  resolution  of plan  follows  a  purely  functional  approach  to  use  of  space,  privacy,  visual connection and passive design principles.   The  plan  wraps  around  the  courtyard  space,  which  is  considered  the  second hearth  (after  the  kitchen)  or  perhaps  lungs  to  the  entire  dwelling.  The courtyard contributes much to the house and its occupants, it is an oasis that provides  sun,  light,  ventilation,  happiness,  activity,  visual  stimulation,  and entertainment. It also provides connection to the surrounding rainforest, connection from one part of the house to another, and acts as the focal node to the promenade experience of moving through the house.