This futuristic house designed by Australian architecture firm Charles Wright Architects isn’t your typical residence, looking more like something you’d see in a sci-fi movie than down the street in your neighborhood. Indeed, this star-shaped house is totally out of this world! The concrete structure boasts protruding wings that cantilever out over the sea. In addition to its unusual aesthetic and breathtaking vistas, this place makes a sustainable statement, designed as a site-sensitive, off-the-grid, carbon-neutral eco house on the edge of a beachfront rainforest here in Far North Queensland, Australia. According to the architects, “The aim was not to simply produce an engineered outcome but produce a building which made the most of the sites natural amenity and re-introduced the surrounding native wetland environment. The building is literally reflected by way of its siting over an engineered water ecosystem which was the result of lengthy liaison and collaboration with DERM, QPWS and all levels of government.” Here’s the grand tour.
The house has a distinct, ultra industrial aesthetic thanks to its unusual silhouette and concrete composition. The concrete appears in an innovative combination of in-situ and precast, engineered and insulated to create constant cooler and more comfortable ambient temperature year round. It’s all topped with a solar-paneled roof.
The house is accessed by a bridge – after all, why would such an adventurous house design come with a conventional entrance? The glass-lined walkway stretches across the water and leads to a spacious open-air deck that works its way into the house.
Six wings extend out from the base, each ending in a patio with a massive glass facade that makes the most of these incredible views. But there’s a practical purpose to this design. The architects explain, “The design utilizes massive cantilevers to mitigate impact from potential flooding and king tide inundation associated with cyclonic activity. The project is category 5 cyclone proof and therefore classed as a cyclone shelter.”
At the heart of the home where all the wings connect, a concrete central courtyard invites an element of nature into this solid star-shaped monolith.
This alfresco living and lounging area is sheltered from the elements, its ceiling supported by concrete pillars that tie in with the concrete beams crisscrossing overhead. Subtle illumination highlights the complexity and geometry of the structure.
From the outside, it’s hard to imagine how interiors are furnished. Maintaining the same futuristic, ultra industrial aesthetic, living areas are concrete clad, with minimal furnishings that bring a vibrant pop of color to this cool, neutral backdrop.
In a home like this, you’ve got to expect the unexpected. And indeed, there’s much more to this home than meets the eye. Aside from its crazy cool aesthetic and out-of-this-world atmosphere, the house has a green side to it. Sustainable features include: total 250,000-liter water harvesting, recycling and reticulation system; renewable solar energy generation with solar backup non-reliant on fossil fuel backup generation; On-site Advanced Tertiary Sewerage treatment plant, grey water recycling and irrigation; Shaded & Insulated Thermal mass engineering, thermal storage tank system for cooling with feedback into mechanical, hydraulic facilities etc.
Here are some floor plans showing how this interesting eco house takes shape:
Charles Wright Architects
photo credit: Patrick Bingham Hall