Tuesday, 21 December 2010

North Carlton Green House by Zen Architects

This North Carlton Green House is an extension to a single storey, two bedroom, Victorian terrace house project that was designed by Zen Architects for their client : Anne-Marie, This project is located in Melbourne, Australia with 166 square meters site area, 132 square meters building footprint area, 32 square meters floor area, and 45 square meters Outdoor garden area. This renovation and extension project cost $365,000 for its construction /execution.

Text from the architect, Zen Architects :

The client required that the small site (166 sq m) to maximum potential to increase the size of the house and also the garden space. We identified the client's passion for her garden and the sun, as an exciting opportunity to increase the local ecological diversity and absorb carbon dioxide. The brief also encompassed the aims of minimizing resource and energy use.


Planning restrictions limited the ability to build upwards, so to increase floor area the footprint of the house had to increase. An increase in garden space would therefore require an innovative approach to integrating garden with the building.

Maximizing green space
The garden is integrated into the building to create a living, breathing, sustainable space that is a delight to inhabit.

Two courtyards contain garden beds that protrude into the house and a pond that reflects light onto the ceiling. A rooftop garden provides more garden and first floor planter boxes act as privacy screens. A curtain of tillandsia air plants articulates light, while wysteria provides external shade.

Water minimization
Water consumption is minimized through harvested rainwater and grey water use in the garden via automated irrigation systems that are sub-surface to minimize evaporation.

Renovation of existing house stock is essential for a sustainable future. Restrictive planning controls and client floor area demands can result in outcomes of big footprints and small green spaces.

The North Carlton Green House proposes a model where ecology is the foremost concern. Green space is increased, while demands of client and planning authorities are met. A series of similar houses layered with green space would link horizontally and vertically creating a healthy, green urban environment rich in bio-diversity.


* Text by Ben Callery, Courtesy of Zen Architects.
* Photographs by Emma Cross, Courtesy of Zen Architects.

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