Welcome to the Jungle House is the holistically sustainable home of CplusC Architectural Workshop’s director Clinton Cole, partner Hanne and their three children.
The three-story home is built within a rejuvenated heritage façade of a long-unoccupied two-storey shop-top house sitting on a 98sqm triangular shaped corner site with north, east and west solar access and outlook. Existing openings are framed in pre-rusted Corten steel, juxtaposing new perforations through the outer rendered masonry facade framed in gloss white powder coated steel.
The interstitial cavity between the outer masonry and inner glass skin of the home provides an abundance of light, outlook, privacy and thermal regulation to the upper living floors. Galvanised steel planter beds provide the structural bracing between the two skins and are filled with plants that cool the incoming breezes via transpiration.
A 1600L aquaponics fishpond is linked in a cyclical system to the accessible rooftop of planter beds, providing the native Australian plants and fruit and vegetables nutrient enriched water caused by the edible silver perch (fish) that inhabit the pond.
Clinton and Hanne have always been advocates of good design, architecture and sustainable living practices. They purchased the site with a vision of creating a home that would fulfil their lifestyle, ethical and emotional needs and be able to educate the public on how sustainable design and building practices can be adopted symbiotically with respect to architectural design, no matter how small the home may be.
The project was always going to embody the pure ethos of CplusC; holistically sustainable, educational to the public and perfectly liveable. The home needed to be flexible enough for a growing family and sustainable in all aspects; environmentally, socially and economically, without having to sacrificing the creature comforts that good architecture typically enjoys.
The home also needed to be low-maintenance, and home automation played a key factor in ensuring the active sustainable systems could be maintained and implemented without imposing on day-to-day life.
Strict heritage controls restricted the modifications to the existing facade. This meant that instead of being a blank slate of a site, CplusC had to work with this existing facade to create a home that met all criteria of the brief while also satisfying Council’s heritage requirements.
The heavy masonry outer façade and inner glazed façade with a 600mm cavity containing an array of planter beds and vegetation proved very challenging with regard to industry standard sustainability measuring software such as NatHERS and BASIX, designed as simple-to-use programs to gauge the passive and thermal performance of a standard brick or timber framed home as opposed to architecturally complex buildings with intricate passive and active sustainability principles and systems.