Friday, 16 May 2014

South Pavilion House Design

07 55987337  0418 747630

Hi everyone,
In my most previous blog I posted about the house design stage of putting the sketch plans into the computer and a bit about why a pavilion house design was chosen over other forms of housing.
Today I'm going to talk about some of the special designer features in our house:
I'll start with the carport as that is where the house design started.  I often start locating the garage first in a bubble sketch as the position is usually dictated by physical constraints or the developers covenants.  In this case it was both.  The carport is in the sth west corner which is the least desirable aspect in this region leaving the better aspects of north and east for the habitable rooms.
The 2nd photo is a picture of the finished carport.  The first thing you might notice is the pitch of the roof which is a bit steeper than the front pavilion as I am locating the solar photo voltaic panels directly to it.
I have given it a rusty red trim to fit in with the rest of the colour scheme which has been designed to sit well with nature and not fight against the surrounding bush.  Supporting the roof structure you will see wide pillars of Corten steel.  Part of the covenants here was to have a minimum of 6 sq.m of storage space around the carport vicinity so that people wouldn't junk up the visible part of the house to public.
So I decided to use cupd's for the structure support instead of plain posts.
Below is a photo of the structure so you can see the stud frame which makes up the cupd's:

I used corten for cladding as they are exposed and would need maintenance otherwise, it also blends in with nature and I have used the material elsewhere in the house and it's good design to carry a theme around a house rather than just one spot.  For the doors I used old recycled cypress pine doors with a natural stain finish also blending with nature.

 Another most unusual feature in this house is that I used cypress pine mulch in the driveway and also as the carport surface.  How many people do you know have a mulch floor in their carport?
The main reason for this is to keep the use of concrete to a minimum.  Concrete is high in embodied energy ie it takes a lot of the earth's resources to make - especially electricity. Another reason is that you can just rake it over the oil spills and once again it looks more natural.  The only negative is that when it's windy your car can get a bit dusty.  Fortunately we are sheltered here.
Next in line is my office:
I have used a long skinny horizontal window from my office to the carport, this is so I can see when clients or visitors are pulling up but without my focus being straight onto the cars, and I have a view out to the pine forest (not my only view from my office). My office is located here so that I don't have clients passing by the rest of the house to visit me, it's first cab off the rank.  As discussed earlier it has a polished concrete floor and a rammed earth wall for thermal mass and design aesthetics.  It looks awesome and always gets comments from first time visitors.
Below is a photo of me in my office with my latest award for a steep house design near the beachfront in Currumbin on the Gold Coast.  Can't pass up an opportunity to brag.

Below is a shot of the rammed earth and polished concrete in my home office:


Next is the 3rd bedroom which shares the rammed earth wall.  This has a sliding door of obscure pearl glass to the north for privacy and same coloured louvre windows to the south for cross flow ventilation.
I have used curved plywood wall lights which pick up all the features of the rammed earth and keeps the lighting soft.  

This bedroom has a shared access to a bathroom behind the massage room and laundry which features another rammed earth wall.

The vanity bench top is made from recycled hwd from a company in Burleigh Heads called Hwd Heaven.  Ring Matt 5522 0531 if you need something made up.  He planes it and glues the pieces together to suit your design.
I have kept the colours light here as it is on the south side of house.  Travertine floor tiles will stay in fashion for ever and are easy on the eye.  Same with the rammed earth wall by Matt Steele from Rammed Earth National 0427 381567.  It's a product that will last for ever, never need maintenance, is easy on the eye and wont go out of fashion.  Those sort of attributes can save the home owner a lot of $ over the years...
The bathroom doesn't quit look the same now that the girls have moved in.  Lucky I got a before shot.

Next in line is the 2nd bedroom. It's now got a double bed in it and all decked out so looks much better, but the main feature here is the windows.  I have used double sliding windows which open right up to the Hoop Pine forest views which are awesome.  I'm often jealous when I visit this room as the feeling is so peaceful.  Great crossflow ventilation is achieved with the double action sliders, the louvres and the entry sliding door.  She also has a study nook with a small casement window which catches the breezes and view of the pond.

In front of the shared bathroom and to the north is the massage room and laundry.  Featuring the same rammed earth wall that features in the bathroom.  It has 2 double glazed obscure glass windows which transfer northern light into the bathroom framed in recycled timber of course.  I recycled hwd ladder takes you to a loft which is an extra sleeping spot for guests and provides a bit more storage.
The side walls are of bamboo ply to give that spa like feel, recycled shutters for cross flow vent.
Recycled glass tiles as the splashback for the laundry. Combine this atmosphere with the best Kahuna massage on the Gold Coast and you are in heaven...

That completes the internals of the south pavilion, now I explain the external.
Below to the right you see 2 recycled cedar doors which have clear plastic roll up covers enabling cross flow vent. That is the entry to the massage room.  To the left of that is a recycled shutter window. This area was designed as a semi outdoor area and sports the same timber deck flooring as the access balcony. The main wall covering is Weathertex Exterior Board with a paint finish in a pale green to blend in with nature. I have selectively used recycled weatherboards as feature panelling.  The 3rd bedroom access is through a pearl coloured sliding door.
The balcony balustrading I built myself, made from a curved stainless steel tube threaded through the shaped cypress pine supports and stainless steel wire.  It gives a bit of a yachty feel to it.  Galvanised gutter and roofing also blend in to the colour scheme.
You can see the pine tree which I had to bend my house design around on the north pavilion.

That's it for the south pavilion.  Started with the carport, next my office, 3rd bedroom/meeting room, share bathroom and massage room, then last is the 2nd bedroom.  All connected by doors internally and externally by the curved balcony.

I hope you enjoyed reading about this part of the house design.
Next blog I will talk about the front (north pavilion).

You can learn more about what we do and see samples of my designs on our website   and
or our business facebook page:   and or follow us on Instagram  Gold Coast Building Designers.


Thursday, 1 May 2014

Computer drawings

07 55987337  0418 747630

Hi everyone,
thanks for tuning in.  In my posts so far I have been explaining the process of designing a house.
I showed several stages of bubble sketch diagrams and how a house evolves and changes in the designers mind and on paper as the thought process evolves.
But now it's time to formulate it and get the house floor plan into the computer to see where we are at accurately.
I use what I feel is the best software for this purpose Archicad which I started using in version 5.  I'm now on version 17 with 18 about to be released.  I didn't step in on the ground floor but it was pretty close.
It's probably the highest rated 3D software internationally, every wall we place has a height a colour a texture and a thickness.  And then we can place windows, doors, slabs roofs etc. It's all 3d and can be visualised by us and the client in many different ways for many different reasons.
The main and best reason for me is that it helps me visualise and experiment with different shapes, and because we are virtually building the house design it helps reduce mistakes on site as problem areas are always highlighted and easily rectified.

Anyway, down to the design business.  Above is the floor plan. Now if you remember the last blog I showed how I was sketching over the computer drawing certain changes.  Above those changes have been put into place.  I straightened up the south pavilion to simplify the structure and help it sit on the block better taking up less garden space and keeping it closer to south boundary.  I also added a Rammed Earth wall between my office and Bed 3 to increase the thermal mass for comfort.
My office is now the coolest spot to be in summer as I also have a polished concrete floor increasing the thermal mass and louvre windows behind me for cross flow ventilation.

As explained previously the house is in two pavilions.  There are several benefits to this:

1/. Possibly the most enjoyable benefit has been the zoning.  We call certain areas of buildings, zones.  In this case we have 2 distinct zones: The adult wing to the top of page (north) and the teenagers wing to the south separated by a covered open boardwalk with courtyard in between.
This was great for all of us.  The adults get their privacy and quiet time away from the kids music etc.
and the kids get a bit of independence and are away from our music.
Between the kids bedrooms is a share bathroom.  They are responsible for their keeping their rooms and keeping the bathroom clean.

2/.  The next major comfort benefit is solar aspect.  Often the usual practice would be to have the extra bedrooms jammed up against the rest of the house depriving those rooms of sunlight (or they get shoved to the east and west).  This way however, all rooms get winter sunlight which makes for happy rooms. Both our kids are very happy.  I wonder if there has ever been a study done on the effects of sunlight in psychology of children?

3/. Cross flow ventilation: The building is basically 1 room wide which means all rooms have great cross flow ventilation.  Our room has a robe behind it but we use a shutter door to the ensuite allowing breezes to pass through. Cross flow ventilation is very important for us in queensland and if done right you rarely have to switch on the fan.  This summer we put our bedroom fan on twice only.  We have enhanced our cross flow by using certain types of windows and doors but that's another subject for a later blog.

4/. Another cool advantage of having a pavilion design is being able to have a courtyard in between.
As my design and life experience increased I have become a big fan of resort style living.  We spend a lot of time in our homes and most of us love holidays right ?  Well I think we should all try to feel like we are on permanent holiday and I do this by designing houses to have that resort feel.  There are certain techniques to do this which I will explain in a later blog and I am also covering this topic in you-tubes.  Subscribe to my You tube channel as I am creating a series on how to blend a house with nature and soon I will have a video about ponds and boardwalks etc.

Having a courtyard in amongst your house helps blur the boundaries between inside and out and gives the opportunity to plant rainforest species which normally don't do well here in full exposure.
We now have an outdoor bath and shower in our courtyard which adds to that resort feel.

Here's a couple of photo's showing the courtyard:

Courtyard from West Balcony (Deck 1) showing the entry boardwalk and then a bridge over our pond to the left which accesses the main living area, and to the right my office and the kids pavilion.
Boardwalk design from my home office to the main entry to main living area featuring all recycled timbers and roofing.  Even the old rope balustrade has come from my dads yacht. 

Our outdoor bath and shower area made from 95% recycled material a lot of it left overs from the build.
 Recycled glass louvres tainted with calcium which looks like clouds from below if you have a vivid imagination. Recycled bath, decking, all timbers.  Soon to be featured on my You Tube channel.
 Recycled weatherboards placed vertically on spindles to open up to view.  Camouflage netting for a privacy screen.  Have also used this on our western deck to blend the house in with nature.

So you now have a good understanding of why I designed a pavilion style house. In the next blog I will discuss other key aspects of the design.  It is intricate and there are a lot of special details about the house design so I hope you will join me on this journey.

You can learn more about what we do and see samples of my designs on our website   and
or our business facebook page:   and or follow us on Instagram  Gold Coast Building Designers.