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Queens Park Residence

The Queens Park residence is a 3-bedroom, 230 m2 dwelling located on a sensitive site falling steeply toward the Barwon River in Geelong, Victoria.

Based on a linear ‘cranked’ timber framed roof form, the design follows the site’s east west gradient, taking advantage of a limited solar window, directing roof catchment to the under-floor water storage, and providing a suitable base for the roof-mounted power supply and solar hot water service.
The vibrant colour aesthetic was inspired by the work of Friedensreich Hundertwasser, the controversial Austrian artist and champion of natural materials and design. He believed bright colours were a pure reflection of nature, announcing to all the ‘somebody lives here who is different to everybody else’. In this case, the colours also highlight the natural qualities and timelessness of the vertical timber cladding.
The Queens Park Residence structure responds to the dominant southerly aspect, while respecting the principles of passive solar design (and the client’s desire to integrate a winter garden to the north) to achieve the superior energy efficiency required by the brief.
Historically, it has been difficult to achieve the minimum statutory energy rating requirement on south-facing sites because of the lack of thermal mass (e.g. concrete slab). But the design achieved 6+ stars (29 points) using the First Rate Energy Rating software. Integral to this achievemner was the inclusion of a 50mm concrete screed slab in the living area. This innovative floor system was laid over a traditional elevated and thoroughly insulated timber floor structure – providing the necessary thermal mass. The strategy demonstrated that difficult south-facing slopes can still achieve high levels of energy efficiency.
Also integral to the brief was the inclusion of low-maintenance exterior timber cladding and recycled and plantation-grown timber, which features heavily as part of the interior palette of finishes. The specification required extensive research to ensure all timber products met of exceeded the timber sustainability aspect of the brief – including exclusion of all rainforest and/or old-growth forest wood.
Recycled timber was used for internal and external stairs, external handrails and balustrades, t&g hardwood flooring, internal bench tops, kitchen joinery posts and external fencing. The vertical timber cladding was screw-fixed to enable deconstruction.
Other notable features of the timber commitment included plantation pine framing, engineered timber sub-floor structure, FSC-certified Red Nordic pine timber windows and door frames, radially sawn silver-top ash (Durability Class 2) cladding and decking, sugar gum (Durability Class 1) internal lining and bathroom hob, cypress macrocarpa pine structural post to rear deck, plantation pine plywood internal feature panelling and feature joinery, ‘Thermowood’ garage door lining and laminated cypress pine exposed roof framing.
The design also included many additional sustainability features for water, power, ventilation and wastewater.


Winner – MBAV Sustainable Energy House of the Year – SouthWest Region
Winner – HIA National Greensmart Award – Home of the Year
Winner – HIA National Greensmart Award – Resource Efficient House
Winner – Australian Timber Design Awards – Environmental Commitment
Winner – Australian Timber Design Awards – Outstanding Use of Timber
Highly Commended -Australian Timber Design Awards – Residential Class 1 New Buildings
Finalist – Australian Timber Design Awards – Overall Winner