Glen Osmond House / Swanbury Penglase

© David Russel

Architects: Swanbury Penglase
Location: ,
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: David Russell

A spur of the moment decision to purchase a small house literally across the road has lead to the creation of a home that reflected the clients current and future needs. The plan has as its basis a functional structure linking kitchen, dining, living and bedrooms at ground floor level into which ancillary spaces connect at specific points.

© David Russel

This structure was overlaid by a defined entry space which connects the two levels, functionally and visually and allows separation of functions and movement. The living areas connect to both the private courtyard in the rear and a deck area to the north to provide a large entertaining area, while also taking advantage of Adelaide’s normally mild climatic conditions.

© David Russel

The building is contemporary in form, using materials and finishes selected to ensure it sits comfortably within its existing context. The form is simple, capped by a single skillion roof with detailing added to provide a three dimensional aspect to the façade. The road is quite narrow, with the streetscape defined by hedges, fences and trees, rather than the existing diverse architectural styles. In response, the site planning included placing the garage to the rear of the property along with the workshop, accessed by a driveway with a generous entry and exit.

Ground Floor Plan

In order to minimise the disruption to surrounding properties, the building was cut into the site, reducing the bulk of the building on the rear boundaries. Materials used include Tasmanian sandstone, cream bricks and zinc wall cladding.

North Elevation

Designed and equipped to minimise energy use, the building shell is well insulated, north and south floor windows are shaded and double glazed with high efficiency glass externally. Motorized blinds minimise the impact of the sun on the western façade. A large concrete filled spine wall through the centre of plan provides thermal mass to assist the overall thermal performance.

© David Russel

A geothermal air conditioning system, photovoltaic cells and solar hot water have been integrated into the project. To date, energy consumption has been approx 40% of the average usage for a house of comparable size. Two 5000L rainwater tanks are located below ground under the driveway and collect stormwater from the roof. These have been connected to provide water for toilet flushing and to water the rear courtyard. A grey water recycling system provides water via soaker pipes below ground along the western boundary and portion of the front garden.

© David Russel
Cite: "Glen Osmond House / Swanbury Penglase" 01 Jun 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 May 2015. <>
  • rdeam

    better homes and gardens special..
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