Bio-courtyard House in Middle Park Has Been Completed

Projects / Sustainable

Our most recently completed residence is for clients who are passionate about the environment and wanted their new home to reflect this commitment to sustainability. Bio-courtyard House seamlessly incorporates biophilic design, emphasising a strong connection with nature to instil a sense of efficiency, integration and calm.

The two-storey house occupies a corner site in Middle Park and while a strict heritage overlay required our Melbourne studio to directly respond to the streetscape, the design’s driving concept was very much informed by the beachside location.

The home’s setting was of utmost importance because we wanted to provide a responsive arrangement that embraces innovative ideas and technologies through integrating solar passive design strategies.

Stephen Webb
Director, DesignInc Melbourne

A rigorous plan takes advantage of the site’s northern aspect by orienting the scheme around a double-height protected bio-courtyard. This key feature is inspired by the protective qualities of the molluscs found on the adjacent beach and is the living and breathing cavity of the house. Not only does it maximise CBD views, but the courtyard functions as an ecosystem or ‘bio-mechanical core’ that sustains the life of the occupants and environmentally supports the entire site. Its many biophilic patterns are created by integrating a precooled, naturally filtered and ventilated air system and abundant soft landscape visible and accessible from every part of the house. Also included is a fully operable shade that excludes summer sun and allows winter sun deep inside.

From the outside, the house’s singular masonry expression is punctuated by a series of apertures. And this recycled brick cladding appears as a robust yet highly textured ‘protective plate’, which reduces exposure to the sea environment. The material hardiness is further reinforced by the courtyard’s strong angularity, from the steps and planter boxes to the blackened steel window and door frames. We’re proud to have designed a residence that balances minimalist aesthetics with environmentally sustainable workings in order to successfully deliver the clients’ dream home.

Photography by Dianna Snape