Engineering: Clifford Stanyon
Builder: Lowcock Builders
Text description provided by the architects. A house for a soon-to-be-retired couple, Inverdon House certainly challenges ‘the norm’ in the small regional town where it is located. This is largely for its use of the hard-wearing, low-maintenance material of masonry which would otherwise typically be hidden in paint, plasterboard and render. Instead, the material has been left exposed, revealing the structure in such a way that means the craftsmanship is on show for all to see and so must be made with care, pride and a certain level of expertise. This means that a new skill is passed on to younger trades people and if the demand for quality is there, this skill-set will continue.
The current local housing model mostly ignores passive design principles, closing down to the elements rather than working with the climate. Only the two bedrooms are air-conditioned for especially humid nights. Manoeuvrable awnings sit above each internal door to allow breezes through rooms when the doors are closed. The living space opens up completely, transforming into a shady breezeway. On particularly windy days, breeze can be controlled through a set of louvres to the North and South of this space.
The carport is located to the West, softening the sun’s impact to the remainder of the house. The breezeblock screen here reduces the direct Western sun, allowing filtered light and breeze to pass through to the outdoor living space. The largest portion of the roof collects water into a box gutter for storage in rain-water tanks. The two main blade walls which anchor the house in its setting, run outside to inside to out again, assisting in the blurring of boundaries between interior and exterior, vital for tropical living.