Bios Design Build Sustain
Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Joan 7.3 pushes the boundaries of sophistication and sustainable in Australian design.
The story of Joan 7.3 began with the client dream to create an enduring home, which was both environmentally friendly and fully sustainable. With the idea that every room should have an outlook and design which ensures it captures the external vista.
“Wherever you turn you can see the sky or greenery in the garden or courtyard,” explains Greg McNeil, Principal Designer of Bios Design Build Sustain.
By experiencing the outside from the inside, Joan 7.3 creates an eluding presence of natural essence, hidden within a modern urban city.
The project site for this build was a narrow 7.8 metres wide, north-facing and located on a quiet residential street, in a well-established area of Melbourne city. Designers approach to the build of the house, was to situate the upper level at the front of the house. This avoided any privacy and shadowing issues, and created more space throughout the home.
Initially, local Council resisted the unorthodox approach of the house design, stating the façade design would impact the streetscape.
However, through further negotiation and design education to the local Council provided Bios with the ammunition needed to show the home would improve the functionality of the site, and the liveability of the home; whilst adding a refreshing look to the already exiting streetscape.
The next challenge for the designers, was to capture as much natural light as possible in the new design. With the west facing central courtyard creating a great in the winter, and protected in summer by an operable canvas shade awning; the result is an all year-round useable outdoor extension to the living areas throughout the house.
Other energy saving features, include a Ventis Subflow System which harvests heat from the roof space and transfers and heats the polished concrete Cupolex floor in the cooler months, a 90% efficient heat recovery ventilation system for year-round exchange of fresh air, plus well-considered placement of windows, doors and ventilation louvers minimise need for additional heating and cooling.
Inventive spatial design places the staircase in the middle of this home making the stairwell the “hero of home”.
It not only serves as the transition to the upper level but is cleverly crafted to provide concealed storage over, a thermal chimney with automated window at high level for purging heat in summer, and also an elegant dining table that floats out from one of the timber stair treads, creating comfortable seating for ten.
The central stair, living area and courtyard configuration makes for an open, light filled spacious oasis, an unexpected surprise for a small inner-city house lot.
The architectural form is completed as a dark homogenous composition of precise folding articulated planes of Hardies Stria cladding contrasted with rough sawn dark timber accents of the pergolas posts and beams, it nestles harmoniously into its highly considered garden setting and streetscape.
Photography by Meagan Harding Photography.