Set on an incredible rural site in South Australia's picturesque Clare Valley, this family home, Little at Large designed by Khab Architects manages to make a huge statement in spite of its compact footprint.
"The site is vast. We responded by giving the little house a large presence", explains the architect. The dramatic roof floats over the home, protecting it during summer, yet letting the light stream in during winter. The roof is actually an inverted truss, dipping into the home and mimicking the surrounding hills and valleys. "It extends past the house in all directions, providing shelter and hovering over the landscape. The roof is confident under the blazing outback sky."
The architects were asked to design an "innovative, environmentally sustainable family home that could cherish its natural setting as much as [the] clients did." Cleverly the roof also funnels water into a single gutter so it can easily be collected by rainwater tanks which serve as the family's only source of water.
The home is split into two wings - one for living and one for sleeping. The living area opens up to the sun and views on three sides, embracing the unique location. Behind a rammed earth spine wall, the sleeping areas are naturally darker and cooler - perfect for sleeping. Each of the bedrooms has framed bush views and take in the southern sky, filled with stars.
Thanks to its orientation and thermal mass from the concrete slab and rammed earth wall, the home is largely passively heated and cooled. In-slab hydronic heating gives the sun a boost in winter, while double-glazing and high levels of insulation keep things cozy in winter. In summer, the large eaves keep the sun out, while vines can be grown on cables to further shade the building. Combined with strategically-placed windows, the home remains cool and breezy in the summer months.
Water harvesting and an on-site reed bed waste treatment system make this an eco-friendly design that's comfortable year-round. Even the materials were chosen with sustainability in mind - radially sawn Silvertop Ash and recycled Jarrah salvaged in South Australia. Some of the cladding is rough-sawn – left unfinished to silver off and the other is fine-sawn and oiled, contrasting the two wings.
"The Clare Valley residence has provided our clients with everything in their brief within a modest budget. It sits confidently in its setting allowing our clients to be immersed comfortably in the Australian Bush."