The Lake House / Biotope Architecture + Interiors

The Lake House / Biotope Architecture + Interiors

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  • Area Area of this architecture project Area : 
    390 m²

  • Year Completion year of this architecture project
    Year : 


  • Photographs

  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers :  Abey, Brodware, Cerdomus, Miele, Neff, Studio Bagno, Artedomus, AustView, Bespoke, Casa Monde, Delft Tiles, Natural Stone Bath Factory, Samsung, Schuco, Tile.Expert, Timothy Oulton, Urban Lighting, Woodpecker

  • Lead Architect :

    Rosa Douramanis

© Peter Mathew

Text description provided by the architects. The eucalypt lined amphitheater setting and a lake at the lowest point of the site mimicking a stage, provided inspiration for the Lake House. Secluded and private, the optimal positioning of the house was at the lake’s edge, with a northern orientation. Responding to the site and views, the house design was conceptualized as two separate wings positioned along the contours, connected with an entry verandah that continues through to the Living Wing to form a deck.  From inside the house, windows frame a landscape of intense beauty and serenity. The two wings have a close connection with the ground, providing easy access to the outside.

© Peter Mathew
Floor Plan
© Peter Mathew

The design was driven by a desire to achieve a sustainable house that created its own energy. Using passive design principles to maximise the heat gain, the north facing site provided opportunities. Two linear forms with sun flooding the majority of the rooms, came to mind. The challenge was to follow the contours of the land thereby splitting the building wings into two levels, by stepping the forms down the site. This staggered the corridor and more intimately connected the bedrooms and living spaces. To the south in the Bedroom Wing, the light is filtered by eucalypts hovering above artful skylights and to the west in the Living Wing, the daybed provides glimpses of the lake and the bush beyond. The lake at the foot of the house is also the source of heat used by the geothermal heat pump with ground loop pipes in the water to supply energy for the hydronic heating system. Seventy-two photovoltaic panels provide enough energy to release excess back into the grid.

© Peter Mathew
Gym Section
© Peter Mathew

The material choice was informed by the rural setting which lent itself to farmhouse architecture: a combination of local stone, timber and Corten was used. The material choice for the two barn type forms, one stone and the other timber was also used to delineate the public and private spaces. The stone and recycled trusses create a feeling of permanency and a grandness akin to a public building to indicate the more public living spaces. The Bedroom Wing is humble in nature being a timber building closer to the water, comparable to a boatshed, but denoting a more private intimate space. The stone was hand selected to incorporate more yellowy tones of bluestone. The spotted gum was to grey off, to reflect the eucalypt trunks and meet bushfire requirements.

© Peter Mathew
East & North Elevations
© Peter Mathew

The Corten reminds us of rusty steel in farm buildings also with the added bonus of being low maintenance. The featured recycled timber trusses designed collaboratively, situated in the open plan living area, were prefabricated off site with prototypes built first to ensure an accurate fit. The bespoke joinery was mainly built in timber, with loose furniture made by a local craftsman. The success of the build relied on skilled craftspeople and builders coming together allowing for a good resolution of detailing required for this build. The value of the design outcome is evident in the sustainable nature of the building and its ability to be self-sufficient with water and energy, resilient to fire and water ingress, while allowing a gentle coexistence between the external and internal.

© Peter Mathew
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