The design for the Federal House is progressive, taking the basic premise of a home as a shelter and pushing the boundaries of all its relationships. The project establishes a connection between ‘site and modifier’, place and object, envisaged to enable multiple readings, from beyond and within.
The home is divided into a clear delineation of program, with shared living spaces at both the north and south sides of the central garden that allowa social opportunities while maintaining connectedness across the garden. The sleeping and bathing spaces within the eastern wing provide a series of modest enclaves.
The house uses no air conditioning as all spaces are naturally cooled with cross flow ventilation through large bays of louvre windows. Warm air flowing through the sheltered pool is cooled through heat transfer across the shaded body of water. This cooled air then flows up through the fern garden and naturally ventilates and cools the lounge and living spaces of the home. Ceiling fans are installed to all rooms, and the house is shielded from the hot western sun by the deep 200-millimetre battened screen to the western terrace. The home is highly insulated, featuring extra thick 190-millimetre stud walls, and thermally broken windows and doors with high performance glass, requiring no heating beyond a small open fireplace in winter. The internal living and sleeping areas are modest in size, with all circulation being under outdoor sheltered halls. The home relies on its own water supply, with the large roof catchment harvesting water in a 60,000L tank. All wastewater is treated on site and infrastructure has been installed to utilise a PV solar array on the planned future storage shed.
The design of the dwelling embodies a respect and understanding of site, place and time, and is an exemplar for sustainable and innovative design.
Furniture: Fogia, Loom Rugs, Oeuffice, Liam Mugavin, Addition Studio, Ha, Sarah Ellison Studio. Lighting: Lambert & Fils, Viabizzuno, Rubn. Lighting: Buster & Punch. Fittings & Fixtures: Fisher & Paykel, Abey, Miele, Rogerseller, Agape.
Photography: Ben Hosking