Sustainable principles in a minimalist style

Somerton Park SA 5044

The clients brief called for an innovative design solution focussed on sustainable principles in a minimalist style.
The property has a narrow frontage to north. Two challenges emanate from its configuration. Firstly, the garage can tend to dominate the frontage unless handled sensitively, and secondly, northern exposure to living spaces can be limited unless carefully considered fro the outset. The solution has been to set the garage half a level below ground which allows the living spaces to be located above - half a level above ground. This not only hides the garaging to a large degree but it also provides the maximum northern exposure to living area and gives it prominent views into the courtyards.

To further improve solar access the plan shape is in the form of an extended “c” which gives the main bedroom northerly aspect and centres all spaces into the sheltered swimming pool court.

The linear gallery on the western side is a visual as well as circulation spine which also acts as protection from the summer afternoon sun to other rooms in the house.


  • Plan shape to optimise solar access

  • Zoning of living and sleeping areas

  • High thermal mass in floors

  • High levels of insulation in walls and ceilings

  • 40,000 litre water tanks reticulated to house

  • Commercial aluminium windows, double glazed

  • Natural cross ventilation - single width rooms

  • Solar pergola to north deck

  • Solar hot water system

  • Sunshading to windows

  • Sweep fans

  • Sloping ceilings with high level windows

  • Natural ventilation

  • 1.5K/w photo-voltaic array on north roof

  • Low flow shower heads, dual flush toilets

  • Liquid blanket to swimming pool

  • Compact fluorescent lighting


WALLS: Corrugated metal sheet / Rendered Powerpanel / Alucobond cladding

ROOF: Metal sheet decking

FLOOR: Polished concrete

WINDOWS: Clear anodised commercial section aluminium frames with double glazing