RESIDENTIAL – DESIGN AND SITE
A simple and effective study in passive design applied to suit its suburban location on a Cairns hill slope
Early implementation of strategies to improve the ecological value of the site
- Location: Smithfield, Cairns
- Year completed: 2000
- Project Cost: < $0.5M
Apex residence was conceived as the designer’s own residence. It is a place of retreat for a young working couple that blends the seemingly opposed paradigms of close connection to land and nature within a necessarily suburban location.
The house sits discreetly within the protective contours of a north facing slope. It is surrounded by dense native landscape which conceals the house from the streets below, yet allows vistas of the distant sea and adjacent mountains from all parts of the house. It remains hidden until the moment of discovery and delight.
It is not a large house and was delivered within a modest construction budget, yet the simple, outwardly-focussed design feels light, airy and spacious. The house is a simple and effective study in passive design applied precisely to suit its location. There is no air-conditioning – there has never been a need for it. The flexible living spaces link closely to the surrounding natural environment and promote comfortable outdoor living in all seasons.
The house was designed to have minimal impact on the site, to be energy and water efficient and to incorporate recycled materials. It was awarded the inaugural HIA energy efficient design award for the Cairns region in 2001.