A prefabricated dwelling grips the mountainside

Mount Ninderry is a home that was created by Sparks Architects to explore ideas of sustainable design and living within a modest budget, sited on the ridge of Mount Ninderry in Queensland, Australia. A lineal plan was designed to run along the contours to ease construction on a steep and challenging site. The entry to the building is essentially a hole in a long wall which slides through the landscape. The house is a simple box which ‘hangs’ off the northern side of this wall. The entry forms a breezeway to the house which funnels breezes down the length of the building. It also allows for a separation of the master bedroom from living spaces and other bedrooms, providing privacy in a small home. A self-contained unit and studio makes use of under-croft space that results from a need to excavate the site for rainwater storage.

The building is constructed of 9 prefabricated modules which sit on steel columns. ‘Solarspan’ roofing panels were incorporated to eliminate the need for secondary and tertiary roof framing. Structural glass portholes to the floors of the living area and bathroom allow access to the rainwater tanks. These can be lit up at night with a small reticulation pump providing delicate movements of light to the ceilings. The precast concrete rainwater tanks provide thermal massing with the walls of the tank being incorporated into the studio, en-suite and cellar spaces to the lower floor. A fourth precast tank is utilized as ‘plunge pool’. An array of photovoltaic panels is positioned on the carport roof to service the buildings energy requirements.

Photos: Roger D’Souza

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