Australia's Austin Maynard Architects recently completed a modern family house that's focused on ensuring a great view from practically everywhere inside. The home also draws inspiration from Star Wars gadgetry and features a degree of sustainable design, including passive cooling to reduce the use of air-conditioning and recycled building materials.
Greenacres is located on a sloping plot overlooking the ocean and the city of Newcastle, New South Wales. It replaces a house already on the property that was deemed too dilapidated to work with.
The home's most eye-catching aspect is its raised white main living space, which is inspired by the Macrobinoculars Luke Skywalker used in The Empire Strikes Back and conceived as a lens framing the scenery below. You'd be forgiven for missing the reference though, it's pretty obscure compared to Moon Hoon's Star Wars House. This raised area juts out from a brick base and is supported by three steel beams likened to paperclips by the firm.
Ensuring great views from inside was the main focus of the project, though Austin Maynard Architects was also careful not to ruin the neighbors' views.
"At Greenacres Austin Maynard Architects not only captured the view from the living space, but also from the rear of the building and every space in between," says the firm. "Careful design thought ensured the house didn't get in the way of its own view. The deliberate transparency means that even whilst sitting in the back garden or working from the study in the master bedroom, you can still see the ocean. Even in the very last room on the block, the shower, through the rear garden, and through the house there are unimpeded views of the ocean to the right, and the city to the left."
Greenacres has a total floorspace of 310 sq m (3,336 sq ft). Its garage has an elevator installed to ensure accessibility as the owners get older, and the interior proper is arranged so the public areas like living room and kitchen are towards the front, while private areas like the bedrooms and bathrooms are placed further back. The master bedroom is farthest back and includes a walk-in closet, ensuite bathroom and study.
The locally-sourced recycled brick used in the build still has some graffiti visible and the firm says that the orientation, shading, focus on passive ventilation and a central fish pond help reduce the need for air-conditioning.
Water tanks collect rainwater for irrigation and toilet use, and high performance insulation has been used throughout. The home also features a green roof section.
Greenacres was completed at the start of this year.
Source: Austin Maynard Architects
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