5 Koppen Tce

5 Koppen Tce

The brief was to create a new home for the designer, by the designer, while taking into consideration the resale potential.
The home needed to work in the tropics, be of light weight construction and achieve all of the ESD principles such as: capturing prevailing breezes; protection from driving rain; while allowing the building to breathe.

These environmental design criteria were to work in conjunction with a modern aesthetic, to create a unique home, built on functional design principles.

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Positioned at the top of the hill on Koppen Terrace, the site has fantastic mountains views to the south and ocean to the north and has great opportunity to capture breezes.

A critical factor in the design was to mitigate the use of air conditioning, and this has been achieved through a number of methods, including designing roof ventilation into the full perimeter of the building.  Venting occurs through high level wall sections, which are clad in black perforated mini-orb.

Successful cross ventilation was achieved by breaking up the enclosed spaces into pavilions, creating connecting internal/external breezeways and decks. A combination of ceiling fans, casement and louvred windows allow control and flexibility in different weather conditions.

The feature of the home is the 5 metre high x 4 metre wide automatic vertical bi-fold door, made with ‘low-e‘ glass panels.  The door can open to any height, allowing fresh airflow to be controlled through the adjacent spaces. When raised to its full opening height, the distinction between inside and out is blurred, created a lovely open feel in the internal living spaces.

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The home’s thoughtful use of openings is also evident in the visual connectivity through the spaces, and the highlighting of key views, namely Walsh’s Pyramid and glimpses of Green Island. This has all been achieved while still maintaining privacy from the street and neighbouring properties, a key concern with today’s small lot sizes.

The feature stair, positioned in the centre of the house, was designed to be as transparent and lightweight as possible, to not disrupt the connecting views. Located directly under it, the indoor garden bed aims to further develop the connection between inside and out.

The use of aluminium composite cladding on a home of such a small scale is not only innovative but carefully considered.The panels have been broken up into differing sizes and alternate colours used to eliminate any commercial connotations. The designer also conceived a new fixing technique which gives the same visual impact and resilience, for a reduced cost.  In contrast to the cladding, rough sawn timber was used to soften the appearance.

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The home is an innovative and fresh approach to both building and living in the tropics.  It embraces the climate and celebrates the site’s merits, capturing fantastic views while having the ability to protect and shelter.

The building’s structure is quite traditional and therefore economical to build. This has allowed for moments of extravagance in the design decisions elsewhere.  The feature glazed battened lanterns, the cladding system and the vertical bi-fold door all create a unique and special home.


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