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Johanna House / Nicholas Burns

  • Architects: Nicholas Burns
  • Location: Johanna Beach, Johanna VIC 3238, Australia
  • Architect: Nicholas Burns
  • Landscape: Indigenous Species
  • Contractor: BDH constructions
  • Materials: Rammed earth, Concrete, Steel, Glass
  • Project Year: 2008

Johanna House / Nicholas Burns Johanna House / Nicholas Burns Johanna House / Nicholas Burns Johanna House / Nicholas Burns

From the architect. Site

Secluded 100 acres of pristine bush containing environmentally significant and endangered ecological classes adjoining the National Park.


A discrete addition to the landscape, a journey of gradual and layered concealment, opening landscape and ocean. Contrast; contraction/expansion, heavy/light, opaque/transparent....inside-outside-inside. Pure geometry, limited material palette and detailing create a stillness, a dematerialising interconnection with nature, landscape and time creating place and present focus.


Latitude of 38˚46˝, 400m from the Bass Strait (Temperature range 12-18˚C). The proximity to the ocean ameliorates the diurnal temperatures and evens out the highest and lowest to a range by approximately 10˚C to 13-34˚C. Wind speed is common in winter to 60 knots. Precipitation is high for Victoria due to the proximity of the cool temperate rainforest of the Otway Ranges.


No outside material imported onto site to prevent invasion of non-indigenous species on the property and adjoining national park. The house is sited on an existing clearing, no trees were cleared for construction.


Mains power connection (4.5 km underground). The aim of a remote area power system was not suitable, a reliance on fuel delivery for Diesel generation in winter posed an unreasonable risk of fungal infection. Passively cooled and heated (with supplementary slab heating in the living space).

Water & waste

Rainwater for all drinking, ablution and fire fighting requirements is collected and stored in tanks. Waste water is treated on site through aerobic biological and sand filtration requiring zero chemical or power input.

Cite:"Johanna House / Nicholas Burns" 27 Jun 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>