The Nannup Holiday house forms part of a wandering path through the landscape from Perth to Nannup. This path dialogues with the landscape of intense forest, meandering river, and rolling hills, and each experience is carefully choreographed to enrich the occupancy of the house. The experience of the landscape is carefully controlled through oscillating vertical (forest) and horizontal (horizon) openings, and the contrast of grounded and floating experiences. While the exterior dialogues with the numerous fallen trees, the interior is revealed through a sequence of ‘growth rings’ coded and extruded in relation to the building program.
Program Resolution: This is a holiday house, a place of temporary inhabitation that offers a variety of experiences and relationships to the native landscape. Spaces are strung in a line, an open-ended line that allows one to enter, exist, and then leave and continue. The house is part of a broader experience that constitutes the experience of being on ‘holiday,’ the travel to and from the site, and the experience of visiting local towns and tourist attractions that are contemplated and celebrated in the context of this residence.
Spaces are organized to provide a sense of seclusion and retreat. Guests view the forest from a distance through vertical windows, children view the horizon and rolling hills through shared horizontal openings, and the parents almost touch the natural landscape. These areas are collected by a dark, twisting, and cranking space clad in recycled Jarrah that oscillates between interior and exterior, creating a sense of ambiguity and wondering through a forest. The outlook from this space is carefully controlled to provide detailed relief; openings also align into view through interior to exterior to interior and back to exterior.
Built Form Context Relationship: The building hovers above the native landscape minimizing disturbance; it is a shadow to the immense forest, cranking in plan and undulating in section. The plan twists in relationship to program requirements and a variety of views. The section undulates in direct dialogue to the backdrop forest enriching the spatial experience with variety and complexity; spatial proportion varies between rooms capturing the verticality of the forest and the horizontality of the horizon.
It sits between the edge of the forest and the edge of the flood plain. The ground level is dominated by roaming wild pigs (the size of humans), tiger snakes, dugites, and other less threatening native fauna including emus and kangaroos. The elevated house with access via the steel grate ramps creates a safe retreat to observe nature.
Materials were carefully selected to dialogue with the context, including dark Colorbond steel, rusting steel, and recycled Jarrah contributes to the notion of the building as a ‘shadow.’ This concept continues internally, the main passage being dark and an extension of the exterior and primary living spaces being lighter and more connected to the exterior (recycled WA Blackbutt). Small fragments of intense color capture the colors of the forest undergrowth.
Integration of Allied Disciplines: The core building team camped on site during construction; it became an obsession that was highly crafted and full of pride. Our structural engineer also travelled regularly to the site while visiting his own holiday farm in the vicinity. His knowledge of local conditions and contractors was highly valued. The project enjoyed a high level of respect and collaboration between all teams; this is reflected in the end result.
Sustainability: This project offers a holistic approach to environmental sustainability commencing with design and placement of access paths. The vehicle access path is placed along the site edge in an area that requires annual clearing for the firebreak. This enables us to minimize the clearing of land. The materials required to build the access path were quarried from the site (gravel and clean yellow sand). These areas were immediately rehabilitated with plant species already existing on the site.
The house was sited and designed to minimize clearing of bush and removal of trees. The area under the house is then free for reintroducing local species and will be fed by the Grey Water recycling.
Materials were selected based on a life cycle analysis of embodied energy. Colorbond cladding provides a durable exterior core and inhabited areas include recycled Jarrah and recycled WA Blackbutt. Timber offcuts were re-used for storeroom linings.
The building structure is 90 percent treated plantation pine and most furniture constructed from hoop pine plantation plywood. The structure was mostly prefabricated to minimize building waste.
The long roof form increases the capacity to capture rainwater, and this is reused in the house. Grey Water is recycled for garden watering under the house. Water is heated from a solar hot water system with back up instantaneous gas hot water systems located close to areas of water use to further minimize water waste. Water consumption is reduced with rated fixtures and fittings.
Photo Voltaic cells balanced over the year easily cover consumption requirements. Power consumption is minimized through energy efficient equipment, use of LED and Compact Fluorescent globes, and feature wall-mounted light fittings manufactured from plantation plywood.
Applied coatings are minimized and generally Low Voc or oil.