Australia-based Austin Maynard Architects have recently completed a luxury home in Melbourne called That House. It’s ultra modern and very sustainable, with a footprint of about half that of the surrounding houses. The home is also powered by solar energy, and features a rainwater collection system.
That House is a unique two-story home, which is made from rectangular volumes stacked on top of each other. Together they yield an interior floorspace of 2,744 sq ft (255 sq m). The main living area of the home is located on ground floor, which features two lounges, a kitchen, a dining room, a study, and a bathroom. On the first floor there are three bedrooms, a bathroom and a toilet.
A narrow hallway separates the two areas on the ground level, which is an interesting design choice, given that the hallway is an indoor/outdoor kind and leads to the back yard on one end. The rectangular volumes that make up the home are reminiscent of shipping containers, though they are larger and feature glazing on the shorter sides, which lets in a lot of natural light. Since the layout of the ground floor is very open, the designers included hinged walls at strategic places, which can be used to gain some privacy. Since the home features ample glazing, the designers also installed shading, which pulls up, giving the occupants privacy with the option of still retaining the view of the sky.
The glazing was installed with passive solar gain in mind, and to this end there are no windows on the western façade, and very few on the eastern elevations. Rainwater is collected in a large tank buried in the garden, and this water is used for irrigation as well as flushing. The home was also very well insulated, and the PV panel array takes care of most of the household’s power needs.