Resilient House

This is a house for the desert. It developed along an idea that our houses need to improve their resilience to the extremes of climate and environment. It can tolerate and resist the forces of wind, fire and rain in their most violent and destructive forms. The design of the house stems from the idea of a landscape bridge and the long finger-like ridges of the West MacDonell Ranges. The house bridges from the high rock terrace at the back of the site, out into the view of the ranges beyond.

The roof floats out over the site on an east west axis and is anchored into the rock behind. The planted roof continues the desert landscape over the top of the site, camouflaging the house under it and providing a good hat with thermal mass to shade the living spaces underneath. Like so much of the life in the desert the living goes on under the earth. The house controls light from the north, west and east and opens out to the south, where we can make the most of the view and fill the house with the even and gentle southern light.

While incorporating the latest technology and the oldest and most tested environmental strategies, the building remains conspicuously controlled and quiet. Internal volumes and views have been developed to create a life within the house that relates but is thermally separate from the harsh desert environment.