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Modern home tracks the sun

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Natural light ranks high on list of priorities when designing new homes. This home by fer studio tracks the sun throughout the day

Step inside? The gardens are certainly inviting


Architect: Christopher Mercier – (fer) studio
Interior designer: Vinh Diep

About the project (Text supplied): One of major design requests the client required was a home with lots of natural light. Achievable on the exterior façade, we also wanted to light the centre portion of the house.

A linear split (continuous linear skylight) was introduced down the buildings length to allow for natural light to seep into the centre of the house. This prompted offsetting the second floor circulation from the first floor creating a continuous two-story volume of open space, naturally lit from above. This split became a central organisational spine, a main feature to the project. It naturally tracks the suns east/west path throughout the day, providing an ever changing sequence of daylighting experiences, as well as defining the main circulation route within.

The exterior form, a sequence of undulating architectural elements, is directly linked to the interior organisation in plan and section, including views and natural lighting opportunities. Unlike the front façade with its strong street presence of glass and brick, the side yard, flanking a row of large pines, takes on a more private character.

The brick transitions to a dark stained cedar siding playing off the green pine trees and the façade conceals to reveal only select window opportunities. All in all, the overall the exterior character is a response to various urbanistic conditions (scale, orientation, landscape, context, solar, etc.) that when merged with interior organisation, give direction to the design. Together, the intersection of the interior and exterior conditions formally drive the shape and material of the completed house.


First published date: 09 November 2017

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