Charged with the task of transforming a charred Black Saturday site into a new home, Hamilton Design created a bushfire-resistant house, in synch with nature but not vulnerable to it. The story of this redesign and build is one of the past year’s most memorable.
“To get me back home” was all our client asked. No words could describe the feeling of loss and emptiness after our clients dreams were shattered when his home was destroyed in the 2009 Black Saturday fires. There was no brief - the brief was to evolve with what was remaining.
The question was whether to bulldoze or reconstruct? From the remains of twisted metal, exploded glass, scarred concrete and a steel frame standing in its strength – the regeneration of Calignee II occurred with a low embodied energy, re-using and recycling as much from the first house as possible. At the entrance of the property, the bush driveway meanders through the thick regrowth highlighted by LED solar lights at ground level and in flanking trees.
A huge rusted recycled water header tank with an organic shape is filled by a solar pump connected to an 80,000 litre concrete water tank. The journey down the riverbed takes you past an enormous 10 tonne rock balanced on its end, through the rock garden, around the pool… into the heart of the home. The home is designed so that every room enjoys the north sun. The kitchen, the node and heart of the home opens to the north directly connecting the pool and gardens so that familyand guests can be catered for, either outside at the pool and its island bench servery, or inside at the dinning table or lounge room. The open plan shares a double sided fire place with water jacket ensuring all its energy is used. The west elevation of the living space brings the huge eucalypts into the home.
Blurring the separation of indoor and outdoor living, the dwelling interior is as minimalist and contemporary as the exterior. The walls and ceilings are Corten rust sheet and rust paints. The lines are clean and true to the elements that form them. The existing charcoaled concrete slab has been burnished to a hard crust and polished leaving a fine web cracking effect. The slab now, after the fire, has suffered severe heat causing the concrete colour to change to a bright orangey red in sections. Large areas of the concrete have been blown out the face. This has been patched with an organic coloured slurry, so that sections un-affected provide a backdrop to these areas affected displaying the furnace scarring unashamedly. The in-slab hydronic heating pipe-work has been re-used and is powered by a salt water evacuated tube/Latento heat storage system. This same system s upplies general hot water, the hydronic floor heating, pool and spa heating.
The large high performance low ‘e’ double glazed windows allow the dwelling to bring the outside bush in, and maintain a constant temperature without the need of high energy air conditioning systems. From the heart of the kitchen meals space, polished concrete floors lead to timber stairs to the family living area with relaxing 260mm wide Ironbark Wharf timber flooring. These recycled timbers, with rusty bolt holes, pick up the wave of northerly sunlight flickering off the sunken glazed pool. The orientation of the dwelling and the spaces within, are located to track the northern sunlight.
Callignee II is not on the electricity grid and therefore prides itself on its energy efficiency, self-sustainability and total independence. Rain water is harvested, solar power harnessed and waste from the home goes into a Biolytic Blackwater system sunken into the earth.
Above all, Callignee 11 will not suffer the fate of it its predecessor. Callignee II’s frame is totally covered with firefly (a fireproof material designed to withstand extreme conditions) and cladded with Corten steel. There is nothing to burn!
• BDAV – Building Design Association Victoria:
• Winner Building Design Of The Year 2011
• Winner Residential Design: Alterations & Additions: $200k-$500k
• Winner Best Energy Efficient Design – Residential
• Commendation Best Environmentally Sustainable Design – Residential
• Winner Interior Design – Residential
• Winner Most Innovative Bathroom Design
• Winner Most Innovation Kitchen Design
• Winner Most Innovative Use of Steel
• Winner Most Innovative Use of Timber
• Winner Single Dwelling (Alterations or Extensions) BPN – Sustainability Awards
STEEL & CORTEN
CHURCHILL MAINTENANCE & FABRICATION
ROOFING & PLUMBING MATERIALS
MULGA NATIVE PLANTS
SHOJI & TATAMI COMPANY
BOILERMAKER - BAULASTRADES
WHALF TIMBER SUPPLY
ROOF GARDEN, FLOORING, LANDSCAPING
FIREFLY FIRE PROTECTION
TARAGON HEATING & LEISURE
SEPTIC GREY WATER SYSTEM