Home Tours: ‘House At Otago Bay’ In Tasmania

The Local Project (December 27, 2022) – Taking a house tour inside a home made entirely from local and sustainable building materials, Topology Studio offers a rare insight into how a structure becomes one with its surrounds.

Video timeline: 00:00 – Introduction to the Sustainable Home 00:30 – The Architect and The Home Owner 01:00 – The Location 01:19 – A Walkthrough of the Sustainable Home 01:40 – Expanding Spaces Through Shapes 02:27 – A Seamless Connection of Inside and Outside 02:47 – A Home that Sits Quietly and Calmly 03:00 – Using Local Manufacturers 03:21 – Maximising the Benefits of the Natural Elements 04:01 – An Entirely Electric Home 04:13 – Climate Change Impacts and Planning for the Future 04:48 – Minimising Footprints

Sitting atop the land, House at Otago Bay looks out toward the bay and as far as Mount Wellington – offering the owners a home that is flush with the landscape. Modest upon arrival, House at Otago Bay is positioned at the end of the drive with its back towards neighbours and its front facing the opposite bush reserve.

Made of locally sourced bricks, bushfire-resistant timber and glass, the home’s design showcases a passion for building sustainably for the present and future. Entering the home at the main living level, Topology Studio has designed the space to open and focus on unrivalled views of the bay. Though sitting on a narrow site, the insertion of unique architectural and design choices inside a home, such as the continuous curved ceiling, help the home to branch outwards and avoid being marginalised by frames. Stairs that sit off to the side lead down to the lower ground floor, in which a bedroom and ensuite have been partially set into the foundation of the home, offering a distinctive view out across the grass and towards the water’s edge.

With a seamless connection that isn’t often seen inside a home, the external façade blurs the lines between inside and out and adds a layer of connection to the surrounding environment. Sitting quietly and calmly upon the land, the architects have chosen to use tones that reference the rocks, water and greenery of the landscape. Using locally sourced and produced materials inside and out took away the need to import from overseas, avoiding unnecessarily increasing the home’s carbon footprint during construction.

After specifying the Tasmanian brick, Topology Studio positioned the building to maximise sunlight during winter and shield the inside during the summer, while also taking advantage of the expansive views. To cater to the changing temperature inside a home, the masonry and concrete floor provide a high level of thermal mass through the seasons and take away the need for external heating technology.

House at Otago Bay is supplied electricity by the solar panels on the boat house – taking away any need for gas and minimising running costs and impact on the environment. Though inside a home can be thought of as sustainable, Topology Studio has taken the extra step to respect the environment by providing robust materials across both outside and inside – proving that homes can provide longevity for its owners in sustainable and eco-friendly ways

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