Tanderra House sits is a stunning site — positioned on top of a hill on a 40 hectare site to take advantage of beautiful views to the distant ocean. But the views are to the west and the house is exposed to a powerful prevailing wind. Sean Godsell Architects continues their exploration of the idea of the verandah as a way to organise space and protect the home from these extreme conditions.
"The fluid nature of verandah space has been integral to my research into houses for some time now. From this research two distinct elements have emerged in my work ñ the (anti-tectonic) outer skin and the ambiguous plan where use, function, inside and outside are organised in accordance with the non dogmatic nature of verandah space as it exists in the Australian context. The operable outer skin protects and shades, opens and closes spaces to views and nurtures the occupants." — Sean Godsell
Protection from the Weather
In the summer hot northerlies blow across the site and it is as a counterpoint to this exposure that the house forms a 'L' shape and digs itself into the ground to provide sheltered outdoor space for the occupants. Key functional spaces are located discretely along the length of the plan and connected by covered outdoor terraces (verandahs) rather than corridors.
Typical Australian Verandah
In Australia the verandah is traditionally transformed in this way to make a sun room, a sleep out or a place to eat in the cool of the evening.
- To help the house to breathe there are slices through the east/west spine wall so that air can move from south to north.
- The ground slab is insulated.
- The windows are double glazed and the mullions are split to eliminate thermal bridging.
- The spine wall structure is concrete filled masonry to add thermal mass.
- Rainwater is harvested and stored in a 100,000 litre in ground tank.
- Sewerage is treated and used to irrigate the garden.
- An array of solar collectors is located on a shed roof to the south west of the main house.
- The floor is recycled black butt
- The in-floor heating, run entirely from tank water, reverses in summer to act as a heat sink to help cool the house.
](/images/featured/tanderra-house-sean-godsell/Tanderra House Sean Godsell 11.png)