With year-round warm weather and so much lush natural beauty, when you live in the tropics, you need a home designed for outdoor living. That’s what the Rodda family were seeking when they packed up their suburban Darwin life for a more rural lifestyle in Howard Springs. Thanks to Sabi Design, their home, Melaleuca House is the perfect tropical oasis perfect for their outdoor lifestyle…
The main feature the Rodda’s wanted to incorporate into their home was to seperate the living area, bedrooms and a private guest retreat via outdoor walkways. Sabi Design created three long, tent-like pavilions with dramatic gabled roofs to separate these three functions. The seperate pavilions provide privacy for each zone and encourage the family to get outdoors as they move between each zone.
The central pavilion contains the kitchen, dining and living area. Kitchen and dining overlook the pool so that adults can watch the kids while they swim. The living area is behind the kitchen so it can act as a more private kids play room while the adults are entertaining.
The home is placed on the site to take advantage of the best views towards existing bushland. Large established trees provide an awe-inspiring view from the living area, master bedroom and guest bedroom.
Being in a hot, tropical climate, cooling the house is a priority. It’s designed to minimise walls to the east and West to avoid unnecessary heat gain. While louvre windows, ceiling fans and a philosophy of ‘one room deep’ help to ventilate and cool the house.
“We positioned the house in front of existing large tall trees on the east that not only provide views, but also cast a shadow and shade the house from the rising morning sun.” - Ruth Brown, Sabi Design
In the evenings as the sun sets, the deck and pool area is shaded by the house to create a cool afternoon retreat.
Inside, the raked ceilings, clad in beautiful spotted gum are designed not just to look good, but to also encourage air circulation. Mesh on the eaves helps hot, stale air to escape.
Even the pool is positioned to cool breezes through evaporation before they enter the house.
Melaleuca House is a beautiful example of sustainable tropical design. The home encourages the owners to work with nature to achieve a comfortable indoor/outdoor lifestyle - perfect for the warm tropical climate.