Sunshine Coast, QLD, Australia
The deceptively small Valley House by Sparks Architects is a pragmatic response to the owners desire to live a simple sustainable life whilst enjoying the virtues of a very beautiful setting.
The house sits in a forest clearing overlooking the Obi Obi Valley and Kondalilla Falls in the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast. The dramatic topography, bush setting and diverse climatic conditions on the hinterland were the driving forces in the design.
A simple pavilion form was adopted which allowed for a rational approach to planning and structure whilst permitting the varying depths of bush view to form the backdrop to the patterns of daily life.
The concept of employing precast concrete rainwater tanks as thermal buffers and spatial dividers, tested and proven at The Ninderry Residence, was also adopted. The tanks are partially buried in the site to allow for small plywood ‘bed nests’ to sit above them, regaining the lost space of the tanks footprint.
The rain water tanks and hoop pine nests become ‘precious objects’, protected by the robust outer shell of masonry, steel and glass.
The draped roof of the building, a subtle echo of the sites topography, allows for appropriate pitch and northern orientation for the photovoltaic array, direct rainwater feed to the internal tanks and appropriate shading for winter and summer sun angles.
In 2012 the Valley House received the following awards:
AIA Queensland Residential Architecture Houses Award.
AIA Sunshine Coast Award For Residential Architecture Commendation.
Australian Design Review Second Most Popular Project.
National Houses Award Shortlisted.