This house is situated on the Turon River in Sofala, Central New South Wales, Australia.
The house was originally intended to be a cabin/shelter for the owner when it was too wet to camp - although the house is such a success (plus we enlarged it 20%) that the owner now lives in it permanently.
The design was intended to reflect the camping experience, hence the bed is tucked into the pointy end and the tent-like shape (we considered attaching guy ropes to the corners). It was also important to make a house that was sympatheitic to its surroundings in terms of scale, design and materials. Sofala is renowned for its camping, and the sloping roof was also a reference to the local tumbledown buildings and sheds.
With this project we were interested in exploring building to suit a harsh climate with a small budget, using quality and natural materials, and also challenging some conventional building ideas.
We chose a local builder who specialises in restoration building and has a great knowledge of traditional building methods and materials.
We gave him some basic drawings and since we weren’t often on site, were confident enough to leave a lot of the decision making to him.
The house has a very small footprint and the owner was conscious of living simply and not building anything larger than needed. It is 60sqm. Because it is an open plan and the front end is 7metres high, it feels much more spacious.
It is designed it to be as efficient as possible and maximise passive solar principles – the glass side (the long side) faces north and the eaves allow the winter sun to flood the house, and keep the harsh summer sun out. We used maximum insulation and e-glass windows. Some of the louvre
windows are at floor level to work as vents to direct airflow.
The house doesn't need any artificial cooling in summer and in winter (minus 10 degrees) the owner only needs the fire at night while neighbours have fires 24 hours.